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Thread: Learning to Rock

  1. #1

    Learning to Rock

    Having difficulties painting believable rocks and cliffs, I decided to practice, with "We Will Rock You" by Queen blasting in the background. Learning by doing, right?

    Going to share the result, looking for input, suggestions and feedback.

    (click for bigger)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
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    2,536
    for me, I have learned to use 4 or 5 distinct values in each rock. The harder the edges between the shades gives a very new/ hard-edged feel. The softer all these edges, the older/worn the rocks appear. However, Stormy Waters crashing into rocks need more of the sharp edges.
    My Website - SkylarArt.com
    "Beauty Draws those who Draw Beauty" - Skylar

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Algarve, Portugal
    Posts
    3,004
    Fantastic and realistic painting very good
    Visit my website here

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    22,517
    Input: Stereo I suppose.
    Feedback: I hope not too much. Ear-piercing.
    Band: Queen.

    Lots of nice things about this. As a commenter, one must be a little wary of deeming to take over the picture and lose the original intention of the artist. And I know you can paint. Your technical skill is there so I assume you painted what you wanted to. So I'll be brief and come in on a different wave length:

    I would ask what is the intention of the painting, and how clear were you about what you wanted to say with it. By that I mean it's a little unclear if this is a background as a staging for animation, a fantasy, a real interpretation of a landscape photo? I might go even farther to ask if the MAIN theme is meant to be creepy, sinister, physically threatening or desolate? How finished does it need to be?

    One could push each of those moods by doing different things that range anywhere from value and color to shapes and composition. So it's a matter of artist's intent.

    As to the overall image, the only thing I might suggest is to have managed the composition a little differently. It's a little off balance. I might move the center peak to the right a little with the foreground ledge that leads in pointing to it with some space between. But if there will be a character or several in the picture in the foreground, it would not matter so much because the composition would depend on their placement. And perhaps clean up and define that shape that rocky peak that seems to be the star of the show so that when we're led to it, there's a real payoff.

    But very cool. I love the sky especially.

    Last edited by D Akey; 08-24-2016 at 08:52 AM.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    599
    I really like the shape/texture of the foreground pointy rock. Nice!

    I don't understand how far back the mountain-ey rock is, but it looks a little too soft for me - the top shapes are more like shapes I would find on trees. I don't get the feeling of size comparison. Is it meant to be huge? Maybe sharpen those rocks bit, and lose some of the round shapes in there.

    Good painting!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by D Akey View Post
    Input: Stereo I suppose.
    Feedback: I hope not too much. Ear-piercing.
    Band: Queen.

    Lots of nice things about this. As a commenter, one must be a little wary of deeming to take over the picture and lose the original intention of the artist. And I know you can paint. Your technical skill is there so I assume you painted what you wanted to. So I'll be brief and come in on a different wave length:

    I would ask what is the intention of the painting, and how clear were you about what you wanted to say with it. By that I mean it's a little unclear if this is a background as a staging for animation, a fantasy, a real interpretation of a landscape photo? I might go even farther to ask if the MAIN theme is meant to be creepy, sinister, physically threatening or desolate? How finished does it need to be?

    One could push each of those moods by doing different things that range anywhere from value and color to shapes and composition. So it's a matter of artist's intent.

    As to the overall image, the only thing I might suggest is to have managed the composition a little differently. It's a little off balance. I might move the center peak to the right a little with the foreground ledge that leads in pointing to it with some space between. But if there will be a character or several in the picture in the foreground, it would not matter so much because the composition would depend on their placement. And perhaps clean up and define that shape that rocky peak that seems to be the star of the show so that when we're led to it, there's a real payoff.

    But very cool. I love the sky especially.

    Your feedback is as always among the most detailed and useful. I don't even know where to begin asnwering.

    The only intention I really had with the painting was to paint some rock/cliffs. It's just a study. A training exercise if you will. There is no other thought behind it.

    I am a complete amateur at this, and just enjoy seeing colors come to gether to form believable shapes and landscapes. I like moody paintings with a lot of atmosphere. Something than can fuel your imagination. I like dark colors - they are much easier to work with. And I like realism - which sucks, because it's difficult to achieve.

    I comepletely agree about the composition. I've been thinking the same thing myself, but didn't care to change it, since the most important part was to just get some rocks and cliffs in there.

    Maybe I should go back to it - or make a verion 2.0 - and change it around a bit. As you suggest.

    Thank you, your input is very much appreciated.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    13
    Your painting has some nice color and the overall idea is working, but your rocks feel a little fluffy in the way they are painted. James Gurney has a great piece of advice for referencing rocks and cliffs - reference it with an actual rock you spray paint gray. He uses a piece of coal he found and it has a super convincing look.

    http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...underfoot.html

    The big thing to notice is how angular and defined the planes of the rock are. By that I mean it has a very clearly defined front, side, top, bottom, etc. Capture that in your paint by using harder, more define edges with a clear difference in lighting and tone to suggest the faces of this object. Of course, rock formations come in many different variations, but people tend to visualize blockiness as rockiness!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by hildee View Post
    I really like the shape/texture of the foreground pointy rock. Nice!

    I don't understand how far back the mountain-ey rock is, but it looks a little too soft for me - the top shapes are more like shapes I would find on trees. I don't get the feeling of size comparison. Is it meant to be huge? Maybe sharpen those rocks bit, and lose some of the round shapes in there.

    Good painting!
    Thank you.

    Yeah, far back rock is supposed to be huge. However, it didn't start out that way. It was the first thing I painted, just wanting to do some rocks, but it turned out okay-ish and I decided to add in a background and a foreground. I don't know if the composition/perspective can be saved, or if the piece should be redone.

    But maybe I should try to do something, based on your and D Akey's feedback.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by huxtiblejones View Post
    Your painting has some nice color and the overall idea is working, but your rocks feel a little fluffy in the way they are painted. James Gurney has a great piece of advice for referencing rocks and cliffs - reference it with an actual rock you spray paint gray. He uses a piece of coal he found and it has a super convincing look.

    http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...underfoot.html

    The big thing to notice is how angular and defined the planes of the rock are. By that I mean it has a very clearly defined front, side, top, bottom, etc. Capture that in your paint by using harder, more define edges with a clear difference in lighting and tone to suggest the faces of this object. Of course, rock formations come in many different variations, but people tend to visualize blockiness as rockiness!
    Thank you! Very useful feedback. I'll definitely use that if I go back to the painting to redo it according to the input I've gathered here.

    Much appreciated.

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