One of the most useful aspects of painting workshops is the personalized critiques offered by knowledgeable instructors. Now you can get this advantage anytime through the American Artist Critique Blog. Through this blog, you can get commentary and suggestions on your work by simply e-mailing a high-resolution scan to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll select the most instructional from the received submissions and send it to an expert artist for advice. Each week, we'll post another critiqued painting or drawing right here.
For our first post, artist Dawn Whitelaw comments on American Grenadier, an oil painting submitted by an American Artist reader.
The attention to detail and the stance of the soldier in this painting are very appealing to me. This is work of an artist who is comfortable with the medium and the brushwork is expressive and confident. I would, however, like to see some more roundness in the figure. One simple to way to help accomplish this is to link shadows by softening the edge where two shadows meet. This technique adds volume to the figure. If the shadow on the back of the coat linked more with the shadow on the fence, the bag over the shoulder would come forward. If the shadow of the gun linked more with its cast shadow on the coat, the gun would have more definition.
About the Critic
Dawn Whitelaw has studied painting with Scott Christensen, Cedric Egeli, Jim Pollard, and Everett Raymond Kinstler. In 2002, she received the Award of Excellence and the Best of Show award in an international art competition sponsored by the Portrait Society of America, and she has exhibited her portrait, landscape, and still life paintings in juried shows organized by the Cumberland Society of Painters, the American Academy of Women Artists, and the Phoenix Historical Museum.
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