Sunday, February 1, 2009

My effort over the last few days. I painted it from a photo I shot in south-eastern Tasmania as the birds were waking up. It was early summer, November, 2006


  1. I mentioned to Colleen, last week, that this is a really hard reference to paint, actually one, that I would not have chosen, and as she is a beginner, it may be a bit much for her. She really wanted to give it a try, as this is a special photo, of a special memory for her. I think she has made a grand effort. I hope, Colleen, you take my pointers as they are meant, a learning tool, and in no way a criticism of your skills. As you paint more landscapes, and as you absorb that reading material I gave you, all these things will become second nature. I feel you have the makings of a fine artist.


    I some pointers for you, and if you bring the painting into my studio, when we next meet for our paint in, I can show you a couple more. (on the technical side)

    1. Something to remember about shadows/reflections on water, anyway, is this. The lighter the object is, that is casting the reflection, the darker the reflection will be, and the darker the object, the lighter the reflection will be. If you zoom your reference photo on your photo-editing program, you will see this is so. Also have a look at the dark edges on the waterline between the reflection, and the hull of the boat.

    2. In landscapes, the foreground is warmer and darker than the background. This is called aerial perspective. The distant hills, are cooler in colour and lighter in value. This is what makes them recede to into the distance.

    3. The colours in the sky, are reflected in the foreground, water or land in a landscape painting.

    4. I would not have painted that roof blue, it makes you have two centre of interests. I think a subdued colour was called for, earth colours. I can actually see 4 focal points in this painting.

    5. I feel your drawing skills are lacking a little, and I have seen you draw, and know you are not too bad at it, so I wonder if you rushed this a little?

    I will leave the rest of the comments for the others, see if they can pick up anything else.

    I can see a face in your painting, I am not going to say where, I want to see who else can see it. Ree and her hubby found it before me. :-)) Looking at that face, I can turn it into a whale too. I think that is so neat!

    I hope the rest of you have a good look at this painting and give Colleen a good critique too, as that is also a learning tool, learning to see what makes a painting work and what doesn't.


  2. I see the face too!!!! ....Doesn't JJ know a lot about painting? ....what an excellent way for us to learn ....
    I do like your delicate colours Colleen.

  3. Colleen, I started painting about 15 years ago, and became so discouraged after about a year that I gave up. Some of the reasons were that I did not have good paper or brushes. Nothing I did came out right, even though I had the right idea in my head.
    It looks like you're painting on really thin paper. Maybe JJ can loan you a sheet of something different? I think it would help a lot. I love water scenes like you painted and have painted some over and over again.

    So that's my message to you. Don't be afraid to do it over. and over. Good luck, and have fun. I like your choice of colors, and it's a nice scene to paint too.

  4. Colleen, a great effort!!

    The main problems I see are composition and values

    The background mountains are too big... the viewer's eye travels straight to you need to lower the horizon line

    I presume that your COI (centre of interest) is the boats with the light source coming from the top RH corner?
    You need to draw the boats larger so that they overlap the background, then they become the COI also add more detail and ground them with water reflections.

    Overall the painting is in mid tone, add more darker tones especially on the boats

    Ask JJ to show you how to do a values chart when you see her next time ;)


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