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Thread: Need Critique and Advice for Acrylic Painting asap

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Need Critique and Advice for Acrylic Painting asap

    Hi all,
    I'm doing a painting at the moment, just got the background down and I'd like as much as help and advice as possible before I move further into the foreground and any mistakes will be harder to fix!
    This is what the painting looks like now: (although the colours are slightly more vibrant in real life so please take that into account)
    Need Critique and Advice for Acrylic Painting asap
    Need Critique and Advice for Acrylic Painting asap
    Need Critique and Advice for Acrylic Painting asap

    This is a basic sketch of what will be the finished product (without colours)..It shows you what the composition is going to be, the biggest bird being the point of focus:
    Need Critique and Advice for Acrylic Painting asap

    And a picture of what the colours of the birds (Paleheaded Rosellas) will be:
    Need Critique and Advice for Acrylic Painting asap

    My questions are..Is the composition good? Colour scheme? I'm using acrylic paints, how can I make the background fade out more to make sure the foreground is the focus? (a wash, maybe, of white or grey..I don't know, help?) My problem is I always seem to go for the extremes..bright blue, bright green, all in the background AND foreground so it looks like a rainbow, all fighting for your attention and I really don't want that lol!
    But most importantly..What can I improve??
    Thank you, I'd love as much input as possible, as soon as possible, so I can continue on the painting!!
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Thanked 28 Times in 23 Posts
    I think the level of detail you put into the birds and the branches they're sitting on will make the biggest difference in giving that sense of depth you're going for. The further the object is from the viewer the less detail you're able to see -- individual feathers blend into a few basic colors without actual texture. Tree branches become plain brown with minor variation of light and shadow.

    But if you're still concerned that the colors you've used are too bright I'd mute them with a milky white. I've only done two or three acrylic paintings so I don't know what to suggest for technique. From what I remember titanium white is very opaque so I'd use one of the other whites -- mixing white or zinc white? -- perhaps mixed with a matte medium for your whitewash. Since you've scanned the background already you can experiment with photoshop or whatever graphic program you many have available -- create a new layer over the background and set the opacity to 20% or so. Try straight white or some light grayscale and see what gives you your best results, then do the same thing to your canvas.

    Good luck.
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Thanked 36 Times in 25 Posts
    You can also experiment with the contrast of the edges - "hard" or "crispy" edges on the bright side and more blurry or "lost" edges in the shadows

    I think you can also try to do small color study - this will help you in establishing color palette for the image.
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Thanked 2,053 Times in 1,109 Posts
    It's hard to give much advice because the photos are blurry. The best way to photograph a painting is to take it outside on a sunny day, and place it in the shade somewhere to photograph. Bring a blank piece of paper to white balance your camera, so it doesn't present the colors as too blue. Make sure not to use a flash.

    From what I can see of your colors, you're using premixed greens. I'd stop doing that as soon as possible. Stick to red, yellow, and blue to make your own greens. try this pallette:

    pthalo blue (green tint)
    quinacrodone or magenta
    cad red
    cad yellow
    lemon or hanza yellow
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