I already told you this before but I think this painting is a masterpiece. You call it "overdone"...I call it "perfect"!
And reading about your working methods I have to admire you even more.
Thanks for making this and sharing it with us.
Thanks for not only sharing this wonderful piece, but also the process behind it. That was really interesting reading.
And to those saying using photos lessens a pice; BULLHOG!!! And as you say Scrawnypawns, there are no easy trick but hard work. And you have shown everybody that it pays of.
As for being overdone, I dont think it is. Of course thats only from me as a viewer. Its lovely to see a classic realistic action scene like this. Refreshing actually seing as very few does this anymore.
On the crit side, I have to agree with Andrewchase. I didnt notice it at before he said it, but the woman must have moved extremely fast for a woman dressed up like that to move that far from the table in a backwards motion after knoking it over. But honestly, it doesnt really bother me. The important thing here is the actuall interacting between her and the man in green. As ask, what has happened? Did he propose anything undeasent to make her that angry? Is it her husbond that has finally come home from a long sea trip that she just seen. And angry on him for cheating on her before he left she explodes up towards him ready to punch hin straigt in the teeth? Both would explain his nonchalant posture. Allthough the two guys to the left of them I would suggest that they probobly have been following the green dude as he was about to proposition her in an undeasent way, finding it amensly funny when he does.. The guy in front... well, he does seem to be a tad missplaced. And as you say, the lighting is a bit odd to be connected to the rest of the scene. But I choose to see him as beeing taken all by suprise by the noise beind him. And having been a fighting pirate for a long time, he naturally reatc to any hubbub with a state of readyness as his expression suggest to me.
The whole scene could benefit from being tied together with some more and darker shadows in the background buildings I think. But again, it doesnt bother me really. I enjoy looking at all the details, and choose to let the amount of details in this piece strenghten the feeling of action. I mean, look at the woman in the background waving the laidl at someone. Is she about to beat up the no good drunk of a husbond standing in the doorway (seen between the to laughing pirates)? No I see the busyness of details and light as the feeling of a busy shoretown.
I don't think over done is the right word. As you said yourself, the reason it doesn't hold together in the end is that you didn't put enough effort in in the beginning stages. So in a sense, it is actually under done.
I think what really makes the figures look photographic is that there is no strong grouping of lights and shadows. I think not only a rearrangement of tonal patterns, darkening this part or lightening this part, but also a strong simplification of the tonal patterns, both in detail and in the big picture, is in order.
I could see this composition working much better if it was painted a bit more in the manner of Dean Cornwell:
That said, I like the composition, and I think the painting of the buildings work really well, it's mainly the figures that look strange. But I think the movement of the woman works great!
EDIT: I just thought of something... The laughing men and the ships look very pirate era, i.e. 1700s, but the figure in green and his poofy pantaloons look very 1500s.. Sir Walter Raleigh is what comes to mind...
EDIT2: I think it is worth to say that the amount of detail in no way makes this picture unreadable, you can perfectly well understand what the primary focus is and all that. The only problem is the overly photographic look of the figures. It's hard to define why this is a problem, but it just looks... better when you don't have that photographic look. I think Dan dos Santos said it best in his DVD: some things that look good in a photo don't look good in a painting.
Last edited by Serpian; December 1st, 2010 at 03:44 PM.
I agree with you Serps, but I think it is the ability of Cornwell to tell the story through composition that makes his painting count and thus explains why Scrawnypaws' image has its shortcomings - even though the individual rendering of all the details is very beautiful.
For instance, in the Cornwell, look at how what that rope might be going to do to our hero is signaled by the flaying tree directly leading up from it at the top of the painting. Our eye is lead up from the rope on the ground, through the guy's arm and on its way to the violent tree it crosses the eyeline of all those heads....staring accusingly at our hero.
Last edited by Chris Bennett; December 1st, 2010 at 04:38 PM.