SOS! Can this painting be saved? (reposted from oil forum)

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cdriskell wrote
on 12 Sep 2012 11:26 AM

I am new to painting and am very new to oil, so I am BEGGING for advice on this painting. I changed my mind on my drawing mid-way and when I tried to paint the grass, the lines showed through my sap green and ultra marine blue mix (apparently both are transparent). So I used burnt sienna or something. To try to justify all the red in my grass, I added color to the sky.  At any rate, now I have mud! So .....What needs to be done to the whole painting to make it work? or is it even redeemable?


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uberzilla wrote
on 21 Sep 2012 8:22 PM

A simple counter balance (obviously the orange spot area) to the heavy side (the buildings) would work nicely. Maybe someone folding the clothes into baskets with a kid or two circling etc. It does need to fill that amount of area though for best effect.

Hope that helps.

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uberzilla wrote
on 21 Sep 2012 8:24 PM

Actually more area to the open side should be filled - should have looked closer.

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KatPaints wrote
on 21 Sep 2012 9:09 PM

Here's my opinion for what it's worth. You have two paintings going on in one. A red building and a country clothes line.The two areas are handled completely differently and it shows. Especially since you broke a cardinal rule splitting a painting down the middle. Put a piece of paper covering up the bottom half of the painting. Then cover the top portion. Do you see it?  Crop it, that's right lose the clothes line area. Measure the width of you painting and the height from the top edge to the top of the orange dot on the previous post. Go to the art store and buy a panel or new stretchers that size. Then remove the canvas from the stretcher and cover with your painting. Be sure to leave excess canvas at the bottom.

No reason to kick a dead horse. If you haven't changed it yet, don't. Move on...live and learn!

If this doesn't work for you, ask again and I'll give you a different approach.

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cdriskell wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:28 AM

Interesting comment! Another artist sent me a personal email with a similar opinion that the top was okay, but the bottom, not so much. Sadly, it didn't start out split up.  I did a small study that had the clothesline and barns overlapping and was told by an art teacher (took a couple of classes from a local artist) to move the clothes line down because it caused unnecessary tension. (Although I'm sure she didn't mean for me to split in in half.)  I never noticed I split it until you pointed it out!

Also, interestingly, the article on this web site "Be Careful of Falling in Love" completely supports your notion of not beating a dead horse.  Thank you so much for your comments. I agree...with the time I've put into trying to save this, I could have been working on something else. I need to be more like Whistler.

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KatPaints wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:16 AM

Live and learn. Pat yourself at not getting offended by what I or the other artist said. Some artist do and that's unfortunate because they are then unwilling to grow. We need to grow a tough skin and recognize that creating art and being an artist is a process and not necessarily the creation of a final product.  If the painting isn't working then move on. All professionals do this. All of them. Keep your painting as a record of your growth or do something with the top section.

At first it seemed as if you thought you were having color issues, but it really is a design issue.  You have two ideas going on and nothing to tie the two together. They both also exist on separate planes reinforcing separate concepts. Both subjects are also viewed head on. I would strongly suggest  doing some study on design. An excellent book by Foster Caddell, Keys to successful landscape painting might be a perfect read for you. It might be hard to find, ask your local library to help you find it.

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cdriskell wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 1:52 PM

You want to hear something ironic? I design outdoor spaces for a living! hahaha! You'd think there would be some translation, but I'm finding I really struggle with composition. I have six books on painting from the library, so I appreciate the tip on a helpful book. At my age and location, my only option is independent study.During this painting problem I resolved to pick my favorite paintings out of the books and try to understand what they did to make the painting so appealing. And although its disappointing to work on something that in the end isn't what I'd hoped for, I feel like I did learn a little more about painting and am viewing this as an excercise. I decided, since it was a flop anyway, to change the way the clothesline went across the page, hung clothes on it in various stages of blowing around and added abig tree on the left to push the barns in the background and connect the top and bottom. Next I'm going to add my grandkids to get a little people practice. (They'll get a kick out of seeing themselves and will be able to recognize their barn and clothes (they're pretty little, so easily entertained). In 100 years when someone finds it stuffed in an attic, maybe it will be considered folk art. ; )

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KatPaints wrote
on 24 Sep 2012 5:13 PM

Hey look on the bright side, your painting isn't half bad. Wink Just kidding.

Actually I like your idea of maybe playing around with the painting to have some fun, why not! I also create screen shots of artwork that I like and keep them in a folder. I've learned alot doing this. I also like finding lesser known artists and like to share - hoping someone will share back. There are many skilled and creative artists out there, the internet is phenomenal at shining a light on these individuals.

Learning about composition online would be worthwhile.

There are also lots of podcasts to listen to through Itunes including Artists Helping Artists also there is a new one Artist Mentors Online.  Listening to podcasts helps make cleaning or housework easier too.

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uberzilla wrote
on 24 Sep 2012 5:51 PM

There is a difference in that painting requires you to think in terms of projected spacial illusion - as opposed to a topographical layout with concern for variation.

A good thing to do is look for used books online. I recommend - if you can find it - Art Instructions School's basic books (actually they were / maybe still are -  binders). I went through their course while in advanced art classes in high school. I do not know how much they might vary (I pre-dated computers - so my version had hand lettering and many techniques that are only done by rare specialists now a days) - depending on who is selling their copies (if someone is), but they cover all the basics - very well - including composition.

It might help to split your efforts a little while learning: Rendering practice on simple still lifes, and simple outdoor stuff (Like a tree with just a couple of things around it - keep it simple. Do this when you don't have time to work out  an idea, and just want to paint). Concerning yourself mostly with technique in rendering. Do Composition practice arranging abstract shapes as the other. It all comes together sooner or later.

You should note that most people go through what you did with this painting at some point in their lives. Personally I was guilty of doing practice renders - liking what was happening, and then trying to make a composition around it. Very foolish - but I had to bang my head against that wall a few times. For success - composition has to be worked out first.

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cdriskell wrote
on 25 Sep 2012 2:07 PM

Thanks for all the tips! It's good to know there is support out there. I like the idea of practicing without the pressure of painting something that I would want to hang up. As I get more into this new hobby, I have several levels of frustration: knowing what I want to do, but not how to do it; getting the vision in my head to match what is happening on the canvas; not knowing for sure how to get the colors I want; lacking in true understanding of what makes a great composition; and so on....But I also know its a learning process (much like learning to play an instrument), so I really do appreciate the suggestions and recommended reading.

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cdriskell wrote
on 24 Oct 2012 10:39 PM

I believe it's finished. Since this was also posted in the oil forum, I wasn't sure where to reply, so the hopefully finished painting and my sincere thanks for all the help is in SOS in oils. Thanks for the help!!!

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on 12 May 2013 12:17 AM

as an oil painter I must first say....I have no idea what these other people were suggesting to you....and 2.....this has potential to be quite a lovely painting. The Foreground has the same amount of detail as both the middle and background and that is not working. 

The clothes in the foreground desperately need more detail. also if you are using grey or black I highly recommend throwing it away. you can mix incredibly rich blacks with pthalo blue and van *** brown. You can mix a cadmium red medium or dark to pthalo for warm blacks. essentially grey colors are best if used with blues. they often reflect yellow in the highlights if hit by natural light. 

I was unable to see any lines showing. 

 

I think this is really lovely. keep painting...you obviously know what you are doing.

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