Oil Critique: "Welsh Landscape"

Welsh Landscape
by Patti DeWitt, 2007, oil, 16 x 20.

A common challenge in painting summer landscapes is that there is usually so much green. In these cases artists can take lots of “artistic license” and have fun mixing lots of different greens, which can either be so warm that they are close to red or so cool that they read as blue. Artists should use warmer greens in the foreground and cooler ones in the background.

In this landscape there are some nice yellow-greens on the ground plane, but I would add some warmer yellows in the foreground. There isn’t much color in the sky (although this may just be an issue with this jpeg image), and it appears unfinished. Gray is OK, but I would suggest some variation.

About the Critic
Joyce Washor
graduated from Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and also studied at the Woodstock School of Art, in Woodstock, New York. The author of Big Art, Small Canvas (North Light Books, Cincinnati, Ohio), Washor teaches at the Scottsdale Artists' School, in Arizona, and at the Woodstock School of Art. She is represented by Horizon Fine Art, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; The Crane Collection, in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts; and The Lawrence Gallery, in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information, visit www.joycewashor.com and http://joycewashorsdailypaintings.blogspot.com.

Interested in learning more from our critic? Joyce Washor will be teaching an oil still life workshop titled “Big Art, Small Canvas,” May 19 to 22, 2010 at the Santa Fe School of Art, in New Mexico. More information is available on her website, www.joycewashor.com, or call (505) 989-7311.


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4 thoughts on “Oil Critique: "Welsh Landscape"

  1. I don’t have a problem at all with the colours/values in this piece, (including the sky; it seems to read quite well with the other values) but I am surprised that there was no mention of the confusing compositional setup with the fence.

    The first thing my eye goes to is the shine on the diagonal of the fence that is cutting across the piece, placed dead centre. And then I try to figure out the actual fence structure, but it is confusing, & in this case, less would have been more. A fence boundary alongside the path would have worked much better than sectioning it, don’t you think?

    Just a suggestion… ultimately, I think it has a great mood of hot summer.

  2. When a fence is in a painting at the bottom where an eye can enter, it seems to say “Do not enter”. If the painting is about the fence, then make it more dominant and recede the background. Otherwise, as the previous commenter said, the fence is confusing. The color and greens do not bother me as much as the confusing fence issue. Perhaps the gate should have been painted as being open to invite the viewer to stroll through the painting and simplify the other diagonals.

  3. The fence leads your eye right off the picture. The rest is nice. maybe develop some other plants that are softer and add some other colors in that area..The focus should not go off the canvas ,maybe even put vines growing over the fence would soften and give more focus and blur the fence lines..

  4. I would push back the bushes in the upper center by making the greens there less intense. They are so strongly colored that they lose atmospheric perspective and also compete with the fenced area for the main focus