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Thread: Help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    235

    Help

    Inspired by Briex and PaperTree I decided to try this and if it works, hope to give it to my son. But I am experiencing difficulties.
    Hair ...dont even know how to start
    Background...too subtle?
    How much detail? WHEN do you know when to stop?????..grrrrrr
    Briex and PT, you look like you do yours really fast, and some parts of mine were, but I am getting bogged down in details especially on her face, and adding layers and erasing, and..... rinse lather repeat.....how do I get out of that cycle?
    All suggestions wanted and welcomeClick image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    235

    help...the original

    Here is the original photo

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Atlanta (Georgia) area
    Posts
    968
    I know that this dosen't qualify as a suggestion, but i think your painting is awesome as it is.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Very Small town in Illinois
    Posts
    5,170
    I agree with Doc. I'm not sure what style or look,etc., you are going after, so I don't know what suggestions might be of help, but to my eye, it's very good as it stands.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    235
    Thanks for your kind comments... I plunged ahead and this is "i think" finishedClick image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    edit- Ha! Well, I see you just finished, so there goes my critique! LOL. Anyways, here's what I wrote.....

    I like it so far-- gestural and interesting. I think the child's head and hat, the mother's clothes, the boat, and the water down below look very good. They fit that style nicely and have a lot of life to them. But to me, as a whole, the image seems possibly unfinished.

    Some thoughts-
    1) Your skin tones are varying too much, IMO. I see this most, for instance between the very honeyed yellows of the child's arm versus the greyed tones of the face. I feel like you need to pick one set or the other and move within it- or apply more blue tones in the shadows.

    2) I think it's worth thinking about how you can deviate from the image. For example, the lip of the mother in the picture makes sense, but in the painting it looks a bit peculiar, like she's sticking her tongue into her lower lip. In the picture, it partially works because you can make out that the hair is hair. In the painting this is otherwise.

    Also, I like how you've chosen to make the boat a new color. It's very vibrant. However, if you're going to do that it's probably worth thinking about how that color's going to react with/play with the water-- you might have some wrinkles of subdued red color in there, reflecting. The red would also probably be a rather subdued red with some blue in it, as it's in shadow, versus the sun shining on the mother and the back of the child.

    3) Details- in the pic the mother's hand is clearly grasping the child protectively. This nice feature is missing in the painting, and I think it adds a nice relationship between the two subjects.

    4) Midground- I think the value of tree is understated but useful in the pic, because it allows a sense of distance to occur, since there's a midground. It might be worth painting it in on another layer and seeing what you think.

    5) Background- It's interesting to note that the sky is a relative blank in the pic. I wonder if it could be improved with clouds, blue, etc.? There's also a kind of interaction between the sky and the subjects that you could play with more. Yes, you've go the parts where there's a flare and the sky "blanks" out part of the subject. But there's also a kind of color interaction that could be used more. Where colors wash out, but are still there.

    Anyways, these are all just thoughts, and mostly about composition and color. There's always room to work and learn I figure! In general, though, I like the image. I wish I had more help to offer in regards to technique specifically with oils, but I'm a watercolor guy, and don't use them. Others might have more to offer on that level. It's pretty good. Thanks for sharing!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    235
    Thank you so much for these thoughts, they are bang on. As soon as i read them i could see it. The hand for sure! The reflection of red in the water...i,am afraid to start changing the skin tones at this point. Funny your comment on her lip, she hates that expression so i tried to minimize it. And i learned a lot about the tools by just floundering ahead...again many thanks.....so not finished after all

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    washington, usa
    Posts
    14,215
    great work really. try to avoid using white... instead use light tints of gray blue or green gray or lavender. or even light magenta... white doesn't translate or print well. it may help to adjust the values of the reference by bumping the levels which will give you a clearer idea of what tint the white areas actually are composed of and don't forget artistic license... just because the sky appears white in the reference you can use a light lavender tint and fool the eye.
    Last edited by screenpainter; 10-21-2011 at 05:52 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    235
    I think I made a real rookie mistake, at a point where I didnt understand I could dry the oils to get drop a sharp colour in, i was starting in a new layer, I ended up frustrated and had a billion layers, so I merged it and lost the background layer, so now, would I be in trouble if I tried to add colour to the bg? I mean I realize i could still add some without going behind them, but I am wondering if that would look obvious...am I missing something basic? And the white, yes, I use too much white, though I will often pick up a very light yellow, is light blue or lavender better?
    Thanks for your comments and suggestions, I have learned so very much on this one....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Very Small town in Illinois
    Posts
    5,170
    If you lost the background layer when you merged, then you should be able to start a new layer below the merged layer and do a new background. Should work fine.

    Not a bad idea to "save" a copy of your work in another title when you are preparing to merge layers, just in case it doesn't work out, as sometimes happens.
    (don't ask how I know this.
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