Pastel Critique: "Mountain Stream"

Mountain Stream
by Mary Ann Stafford, 2008, pastel, 18 x 24.

The rocks and water in the foreground are very effective. I would like to have more of an impression that the water on the back waterfall is moving toward the viewer and connecting with the water in the front of the painting. To help with this, there could be some light water that links the horizontal shapes of the back waterfall together. Also, if the lights on the water linked together from the back of the painting to the front, the composition would have more unity. Another observation: The bright yellow-green foliage in the upper left corner seems to be a little isolated from the rest of the painting. The piece would have better color harmony if this area were more neutral.

The adjustments, as suggested by the critic.

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 Best of Show in an international 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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About BrianRiley

Brian Riley is the managing editor for the American Artist family of titles (American Artist, Watercolor, Drawing & Workshop) and has been part of the AA team since 2003. He first became interested in art as a child, specifically drawing, but drifted away from the visual arts as he grew older, gravitating towards writing while in college. His position at AA has offered him the opportunity to reinvigorate his early passion and continue his education.