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Old 05-08-2018, 06:42 PM
ntl ntl is offline
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ntl: which is the better composition?

Three images of a scene. Which is the better composition? Which do you like best? Why? I plan to do this in oil paint, and it will probably have the person with back to viewer in it, as in drawing 3. Should the painting be in color or greys? I want the mood to be tense, frightening... How can I improve this? C&C appreciated.
1) watercolor 9x12"

2) water soluble graphite 6x9"

3) graphite 5x7" This is the most complete image, and what I want to portray. Is it the best composition? Size will probably be 11x14"
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:28 PM
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virgil carter virgil carter is offline
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Re: ntl: which is the better composition?

If the story is about the humans, and not the trees, then the human shapes should predominate. They do not do that in sketches 1 and 2.

For a "tense, frightening" emotion, the colors, values and edge conditions will need to be those which convey those emotions. And the facial expressions and postures of the figures will need to convey those emotions.

Don't space all the figures and foreground trees equi-distant apart as in the third sketch.

sling paint,
Virgil Carter
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Old 05-09-2018, 01:59 AM
ntl ntl is offline
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Re: ntl: which is the better composition?

Virgil, thanks. This is a whole new step for me--portraying a mood. I appreciate your input.
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Old 05-10-2018, 01:52 AM
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Re: ntl: which is the better composition?

so far there's no hint of what they might be afraid of ... it appears they're playing with balls in the woods and running happily toward someone.

less sunshine/more darkness, more mystery, with some clue of reason for caution/fear

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Old 05-10-2018, 09:02 AM
ntl ntl is offline
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Re: ntl: which is the better composition?

You're right, La. That's why I did the second and third in graphite. I'll work on it. I've been looking for examples, I don't want "war" or "torture" examples. Things happen in everyday life that cause fear or terror in someone. The figure in the center is being chased.
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Old 05-10-2018, 01:58 PM
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caldwell.brobeck caldwell.brobeck is offline
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Re: ntl: which is the better composition?

This doesn't directly relate to your image, but perhaps it might give you some ideas? One of the most popular Romantic era poems is Goethe's Erlkönig [Wikipedia], which can be pretty terrifying if done right. See Jessye Norman's performance of Schubert's musical version[youtube], for example. It still gives me chills....

Anyway, quite a few artists have painted versions of it, here's a link to a google search on "erlkönig by goethe"[google images]. For me the ones that were best are the ones where the light and background forms actively add to the sense of doom.

Another interior - but not a chase scene - that is very foreboding is Degas' Interior (aka the Rape)[wikipedia], with the room cast in gloom except for the light in the center, and the protagonists at opposite corners.

That one is often said to be based on Zola's murder story, Thérčse Raquin.

The literary backgrounds to these makes me think that a good source of ideas or techniques for your work might be lie in illustrations to other frightening works, or works with frightening episodes? Like this one from an early edition of Treasure Island:

[from robert-louis-stevenson.org, The First Illustrations for Treasure Island]

Many of the late 19th and early 20th Century illustrators were wonderful artists in their own right, and hence might provide some useful help!

C&C of all sorts always welcome! (I don't mind rude or harsh criticism.)
I suppose I have to do this too (my blog, & current work). My Visual Arts Nova Scotia page.
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Old 05-11-2018, 02:29 PM
ntl ntl is offline
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Re: ntl: which is the better composition?

Chris, thanks!
The interior scene is more what I'm going for. I am working at growing and educating my imagination. (read: I have none/few at the moment!
I've been studying the erlkonig images, and see some aspects that can be helpful.
I have a lot of work and experimenting to do. Thanks for the links.
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:28 PM
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Sparro Sparro is offline
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Re: ntl: which is the better composition?

You're going to have to add an eagle scooping up a small mammal if you want it to be tense and frightening. Even if you darken the lighting, it will only suggest a walk through the park on a stormy day. Or at least a little girl looking mournfully at her balloon as it floats away out of reach.
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:06 AM
Svensom Svensom is offline
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ntl which is the better composition

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