Monday, March 08, 2010

This is a 24x36" acrylic/canvas. As you can imagine, it was pretty unusual photo. I'm not sure how it works as a painting here. Would love some C&C.


  1. Hi Elliot, a big painting here! A couple of things, one, the white bothers me some...I would put a bit more ochre or yellow in that white. Second, at first glance , I didn't know what it was until I focused in on the people. Its quite an abstract landscape here that reads fine once the people come into view. I might see what I could do to bring a bit more definition to the people so they are a bit more easily recognized. Once that's done, I think it may hang together more beautifully.In a close up , the people are easily readable, but back a bit, its hard to tell what they are. Anyways, just a few thoughts there, maybe Dave, Ralph, Christiane or others may have a few thoughts. I love the colors and figures in this one and the beautiful quality of light on the scene. Brian

  2. Oh Elliot, one more thing, that line across the top hill is maybe a bit too straight. I might put some dips in it or irregularities so it reads more like a hill. Just a thought! It may have looked straight in the photo, but reads a bit odd in a painting. Brian

  3. Hi Elliot! When I blow it up the figures and the water look great. Well done.

    Most of your problems in this painting could have been avoided if you had done an underpainting like in Brian's Seven Steps method and make the corrections there in values and perspective before adding color.

    Always remember when painting from a photo there are always correction to be made for camera distortion.
    You sort of have to wing it and paint what you think will work.

    That said,
    You can consider changing the shadows of the figures so that they don't look like they are bouncing off a wall.

    Lower the hill and background on the canvas a bit, and change the perspective with color so it looks like it is receding.

    Then see if you have to tone down the background a little and make it a little smaller.

    Also consider making the figures a little bigger.

    Happy painting and have a good day!

  4. Thank you very much Brian and Ralph for your thoughtful consideration. All very good points made. I look forward to going back in there and working out a couple things. I don't think this will be a great painting regardless, but certainly a good learning exercise.

    Ralph, I did do an underpainting, but I get your points nonetheless.

  5. There are many ways to start a painting Elliot! You can also start with a sketch and lay down color masses like Susan Sarback, Lois Griffel or Sergei Bongart but you sort of have to know what you are doing.

    I find if I do an underpaintng till I really love it and sort of see the end result I screw up less and I enjoy the painting process more.

  6. strange... I ,too, had to bring it up to see clearly what it is. but it doesn't bother me. I like the colors. for my part, what's, may be, i like less is the 2 green triangles. I would prefer without. anyway we have to try to learn.