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Thread: Approaching Harbor

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Maryland, US
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    239

    Approaching Harbor

    Needed a break from studying the script on my broken file for the painting of my cat that I've been working on, did this as a future work that I may or may not actually do (depending on how swamped with business I become and whether I end up improving faster than I can come back and finish this which happens from time to time).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    - Delo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Reno Nevada
    Posts
    768
    OMG I can see this as a premier painting....lay in some high contrast and lighting this looks so cool! just touch it with some definition just here and there and it will explode my friend!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Rome (Italy)
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    24,113
    Well everything's in place and the perspective really effective to take us unconventionally into the scene. This may become a really excellent finished place, but it's already quite evocative!
    Panta rei (everything flows)!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Prineville Oregon
    Posts
    6,179
    you have sparked our imagination and as Caesar and Cartuneman say it is poised to explode with just a few details and contrast tonal work...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Maryland, US
    Posts
    239
    Thanks everyone, I had done a few other thumbnails of this kind of scene but none felt near as natural as this one. Then I tried to do some sketches for something else I'm working on and got nowhere with that, couldn't seem to get this thing out of my mind. Looks like I will have to take it further I guess! Pretty sure the painting has me under it's control and I am just filling in colors to make it happy. Perfectly fine with me though, it's super fun, but I won't have much time to work on it until after this local arts and crafts faire in my town this weekend. Every 3rd Friday they run the arts/crafts thing and the foot traffic is amazing, going to see if some people want to buy my prints. Hoping I can sell at least 5 or 10 of them, but can never tell. . . maybe someone will commission me for something though, that'd be a welcome change from the work I had been doing as of late.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    central england
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    6,727
    Delo... I had to come in and agree with the members, this one has great potential, the perspective is there, the idea is there, its different because of the angle, and I like the colour pallet you have chosen, you don't need to change much at all for a really excellent painting, don't mess up this original though, and ALWAYS use a duplicate layer to work on, then you can revert if you need to, this really has a lot of promise Delo, and I would love to see you progress this one......Jack.
    http://jacktar51.cgsociety.org/
    Some of my artwork can be seen at the above link.......Jack.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    22,517
    I really like the colors, and the composition looks like it's got a lot of merit. The thing is, for me, when doing a rough comp like this, it's a great opportunity to quickly establish your values. So for me everything that you have here is rather patchy without it really showing how the values are going to relate to each other in the composition.

    I mean I really like the colors a lot. It's just that the same colors are peppered throughout the whole picture for the most part. And without more structure, it doesn't work as well as it might wear speed would explain what is where. So like cartoon man said, it could be a really good start. But it needs some more definitive parts to show lighting, to show planes, to show shapes to a large extent, and to then spice it up with some key details. Defining shapes and how they relate to each other is part of the pizzazz.

    I think that would really help give focus to what it is you're doing with the painting. All of these marks could be really good as a ground that unites the whole picture later as you push and pull and shape the scene with more attention to what you're giving us, in other words the reason that you're doing this painting.

    If you're using a scene of a harbor from the 1700s in dim light, sort of as a celebration of those tones, somewhat in the direction of James McNeill Whistler are one of those tonal, symphonic mood pieces which are often a dance of massive areas of color articulated here and there, then I think the marks that you make shouldn't be quite so hard-edged. And you can save the hard-edged for the areas of focus that will pull the eye and catch people's attention where you're saying this is the spot I want you to look at more than anything else in this impressionistic melieu.

    Of course, I may be completely missing what you're trying to do. In which case, just carry-on and I look forward to seeing where you're going to take this. It does have a heck of a lot of potential. And the suggested composition that I see taking shape is not too shabby and should be very dramatic.

    Go man go!
    Last edited by D Akey; 04-17-2015 at 03:30 PM.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Maryland, US
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    239
    Thanks for the thoughts D Akey! I actually start out all my work fairly washed out, I do this for a few reasons though, each pass I do on a painting increases saturation, value, and lighting, by keeping it muted in all 3 at the start I have a large range of options as I move forward that are easier to paint over without getting attached to anything, because changing something that looks bad is easy. Many of the marks in the background represent buildings or walkways, ropes, crates, and other things that might be found in that kind of scene. At this point in my painting, I am considering 3 things in this stage of my painting, composition, design, and color harmony. These things because they are the areas I feel are the hardest to adjust or create later in a painting (just me, other people seem to do it easily but I seem to struggle with it if I don't establish it early). As to the focus of the painting, I didn't have one yet so keeping it at such a rough stage lets me determine that as I move forward through my process. In the next step I will be working up the values a bit more though, and start working out relationships of space while considering the play of light and shadow. I've begun to realize my approach to my paintings is a bit more than different than most, it's like a series of suggestions that I constantly ask myself questions as I move through it, but each pass I make has certain answers for certain problems that vary per painting due to different questions presented at each time. Primarily though, I start with the above mentioned things, then build forms, then texture them, then highlighting and reflected lights (which I consider as well during each step), lastly I do a bit of atmosphere (unless I need it earlier). I suspect the focal points will be shoreline and it's series of buildings, structures, and the pier itself, as such I will be working to keep other areas more muted.

    In retrospect this thread should have been in the work in progress subforum, but I wasn't really convinced I would take it further at the time. I have a local arts and crafts faire I'm going to this Friday so I won't get a chance to work on this until after that is done, been extremely busy ensuring I have prints to sell and a table, chairs, and now I have to pick up a tent because I hear they are calling for rain in the evening. Saturday though, oh I can't wait to jump back into this, my wife glanced at it and told me I had to finish it too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    22,517
    Awesome. Hope it doesn't rain too hard. Send some of it our way. In California we're in a pretty severe drought and from the meager snowfall it's going to get worse.

    It'll be fun to watch your process when you get back to it. Listen to your wife. She knows what she's talking about. Such enthusiasm like that. . . lucky fellow. You've got yourself a bona fide Muse.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Maryland, US
    Posts
    239

    Middle of second pass

    Not quite through with my second pass on this, where I'm really trying to build up the various buildings and major forms so I can actually reinforce the darks and lights in certain areas, a few of the darks in the harbor town seem a bit too dark and are flattening the foreground into the midground currently but I've got my eyes on it and will be working that out as I go. I'm also keeping my eyes on the lines of various catwalks and other bridges and such in the air as they seem to make some near tangents that are slightly distracting to me. My red roofed buildings will be leading us in to the scene. Compositionally everything feels okay to me for the most part but very angular right now and I'm going to need to add looping ropes and such to give me some curves in this as it's almost too angular right now. The boats in the harbor are going to provide me a bit of scale but I need something between my nearest boat and the miground elements to create some distance. . . maybe a buoy, maybe a floating crate. . . . maybe a ninja. I'll figure it out. Wanted to share the update as it's pretty significant, especially since I'm actually working at over double the resolution of the original (though I scale it down for posting here).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As I get to more opaque paint layers the darks will end up darker, but right now much of the lighter base colors from the first pass are still showing through, but I'm starting to really get the feel for where everything is at, going to start looking at some reference for what else might be in a harbor that I might be able to add in the left side of the painting.

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