View Full Version : Black Caviar and her filly - Finished tweaking.

10-08-2014, 09:34 PM


10-08-2014, 11:29 PM
June I see you found my Hoss then!!! Manerfiqker :confused: ;) :D :D :D :D :D :D :D CIAO Buonoy Nochis Dormer Bonne

10-09-2014, 01:01 AM
Very, very nice....

10-09-2014, 03:58 AM
very nice work June, such a sweet and tender image...:):)

10-09-2014, 04:36 AM
Hello June...Looking very nice, very nice indeed!
Take care,

10-09-2014, 02:06 PM
Thanks everyone but now that I'm looking at it today it seems a bit flat - I mean not 3D. I'm wondering how to rectify this - soften the edges add some light? Perhaps a shadow under the foal's head. It looks pretty much like the reference photo - no light or shadows there but of course the brain does the rest. I'll have a play.

10-09-2014, 04:31 PM
OK, I softened some outlines.


10-09-2014, 05:46 PM
Hi June......Softing out the outlines certainly is making it appear less composited...if that is whats bothering you. I still like it! I have problems with the outlines of my images as well, so I' am always second guessing myself...sometimes I get it right, sometimes not. If your like me, you'll keep tweaking it, I just big time tweak one I did a year ago....
Take care,

10-09-2014, 08:22 PM
Thanks Steve - it's heartening to know that you have these problems as well.;)

10-09-2014, 09:39 PM
Very well defined. You're going to achieve soon a perfectly realistic look I think!

D Akey
10-10-2014, 03:17 AM
I think a couple of the reasons it looks like everything's cut out is that your edges are razor sharp like you mentioned. The other is that there is no integration of the colors in your painting. So the bits take on an isolated character.

I've seen this in my own experiments when I was first messing around with airbrush -- where cutting friskets produced the same kind of edge, inside of which I tried to build up volume. In the early days of airbrush before it became an art form (and believe me, some artists had it mastered as an end unto itself), it was used for technical illustrations where they were using it for illustrating mechanical parts in machines to add a little something extra to the line drawing. So items looking cut out actually worked for that.

Your painting is far from that though. And the volume and colors you have in it are rather good in isolation. So the horse's head is pretty cool. But it doesn't relate to the grass at all (stylistically and in color). The filly's head turning back over itself, while the colors are related, they still feel somewhat cut out and flat -- almost like a low relief effect.

Several people handled that problem differently so I won't go into it all because you're not doing airbrush.

I think the only thing that might not be working is isolating elements rather than building things up as a painting.

But you've got some really good stuff happening here. The horses' anatomy and fur (or is it hair?) looks good and the colors have a nice sort of chestnut richness. The grass is not so helpful though because the technique and colors are so different from the horses, in that the colors are in another key (like having two singers singing the same song but in different keys).

Anyway, you're taking on greater challenges and the stuff you got right is really nice. Good stretch. Discovering how to approach a painting sometimes yields much more than bulls-eyes because it expands your awareness of how stuff works and you can then have more range. So good on ya.

10-10-2014, 01:38 PM
Thank you Caesar for having a look and your encouraging comment.

DA thanks - this is what I wanted to know. Once again I let the photo rule the image - the grass was similar and filled the picture and also similar colour - I picked the colour from the photo. You have told me before that I have licence to depart from the photo but I didn't do that here. I have the .ptg so I will experiment with background, introducing some of the browns and maybe I should darken the filly's body - tho I imagine it was the bright sunlight that was making her coat look so pale in contrast to her head.

Once again you have given me food for thought. :cool:

10-10-2014, 09:31 PM
Decided to add some sky.:)


10-11-2014, 01:20 AM
Ditto what Cesare stated, great work Enug. I enjoyed it very much!

10-11-2014, 01:35 PM
Thanks for looking Alexandra.:)

10-11-2014, 02:09 PM
Holy smokes June...It just keeps getting better and better! You've given it a balance that redirects ones eyes from focusing in on mom and filly...almost creating a different scene for your images. This is working, the tweaking is certainly paying off...your patience and eye for 'could be better' has, or should I say will produce one endearing and beautiful painting....
Liking it more and more...

D Akey
10-11-2014, 02:39 PM
I'm typing this fast so I hope it makes sense. . . :rolleyes:

Oh wow! I didn't know you changed the whole background. Those stylized clouds are brilliant! What a great addition to the scene.

One of the issues about focus that's approximating photography is that when you have something in the foreground that is in focus, and you loose sharpness as you go back -- that when you're using that sensibility, then you have to make it all consistently softer the farther back you go. So in the case of the grass meeting the trees, it's very out of focus looking, and the clouds are comparatively sharp. And it merely looks like the grass was blurred but with huge blades now that there's perspective saying that's really far back. Plus, paying attention to all the areas of your painting are a good idea. So that middle ground could be repainted as well and I think it would pay off.

So there's that. When you have a style that is more artsy and technique based where the technique is part of the overall look (as with say Pino's paintings of women), he slaps around paint in the background where it's not critical to know what it looks like in detail, and leaves it looking like paint strokes as much as anything else. And then he puts more detail and finesse into the focus of his pics = the girl and her garment and perhaps what she's sitting or lying on. But I think if he wanted to do someone at the window in the distance even though there's a looseness to that depth of field, he could cheat it convincingly because he's telling a story and it's a story point so we're generally okay with that. But he wouldn't bend the rules too much.

So cast your eye around your painting with that in mind. Think of what would look cool in a painting (colors (accents or something for variety), smaller or larger strokes, more stuff. . . whatever). The choices are yours.

As to the horse's heads, the softer edge helps sort of. It makes it feel less cut out for sure and that's good. You may want to try mixing a color that is something of a transition that you could break up the edge to make it a little more painterly if that look interests you.

My opinion of the horse's heads is that they have marvelous detail and some good structure stuff. I personally would cheat it and introduce more contrast showing the anatomy a little more. But that's my personal style and I would try to choose pics to paint that already have a lot of that stuff worked out.

And even kibitzing about your painting, I would have to mess with it to see whether that would help or not. I don't have all the answers, as you probably guessed. When I'm painting something I've not painted before I fumble around, especially if I haven't painted for a while and don't have my chops up. One forgets tricks. So I try stuff. Mostly it works, and sometimes it's abysmal. . . and I just say "YIKES" and undo it or paint it out or whatever. I have to let it cool off too sometimes where I go away from it and look at it later.

A lot of professionals would do little thumbnails for composition and color ideas, or take and work out something on another canvas to see how best to do something that was going into a large picture -- like a head or a hand, looking for the exact strokes to put in. And if the artists paints all the time, they don't have to do that much.

This is a very respectable effort in which you're stretching a whole lot. And many of the painting choices are sound. If I were to give you one idea to take with you to improve your paintings, I would say "Think Transitions". How things touch, overlap, move from light to dark or color to color, edges and all that. You're clearly seeing details on the horse's heads, and now it's a matter of thinking of the bigger picture as a piece.

Great stretch and successful on many levels.

Go June GO!!!!!!!!!!

10-11-2014, 05:12 PM
Hi Steve - But.....I still want to tweak it. Will I ever be happy? I might have another go and then say enuf! Thanks so much for your uplifting words.

Mr.Akey - once again thanks for the in depth assessment of the piece. Certainly a lot for me to go away and think about - transitions, hmmm!

10-11-2014, 05:56 PM
Hi. June it's all. To high Tec ; for me. It takes brain. All it's time to remmber Passwords it's still in shock from Layer's so it's best not to confuse him :(:( ;):D:D:D. Look where water colour got me

10-11-2014, 09:31 PM
You should be kinder to Brain, Mr. Ploos - he has had to cope with a lot, what with grids, layers, watercolours and who knows what next - I think he has done very well. As I've said before you have a lot of talent and you are well on the way to conquering all the tricky bits of AR.:)

This is my last tinkering with it - I promise - maybe!:p


D Akey
10-12-2014, 04:54 PM
Fantastic journey. You can probably see how all that changes the whole pic with each choice this way going through several variations. You're amazing. It's funny but I like things about each way and the artistic voice seemed to change with each. There are artists in the past who kind of went each of those directions because they liked what was being featured with more detail or less, or more atmosphere etc.

One of the things that comes across more, the more you worked on the background is how much more important the environment became to the story. The first was more about the horses -- mother and child so to speak, and the second was about the horses in an idyllic ranch -- that baby is going to have a great life and mom should be so proud.

Anyway, brava! and well studied.

10-12-2014, 07:45 PM
I don't think I've ever spent so much time on a painting before - I'm hoping that I've learnt and retained the knowledge from the journey. Actually, at one point I was trying for a vignette as I had intended the focus to be on the horses, but nothing worked for me. Thanks for holding my hand.:rolleyes:

10-13-2014, 06:47 AM
Looks nice !

10-13-2014, 01:22 PM
Thanks so much.:)

10-14-2014, 01:55 AM
I'm glad I was right believing You would have improved pretty soon from the good start. I'm sure You're ahead in your learning curve, so next time it will take You less time and tweaking, if any. Applause!

10-14-2014, 03:19 PM
Thanks Caesar for having faith in me and also for your encouragement over the past months. It's a bumpy road but it's fun and keeps me out of trouble.