Environmental Critique.
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    Environmental Critique.

    Although I do consider this to be finished. I still felt that there are a few things I could have done in this painting to make it better. Just having another artists perspective always helps and I would love to hear any critique on it so that mistakes I made in this won't carry on to the next one. Thanks-Brad

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    Last edited by Virulentus; February 28th, 2012 at 07:31 PM. Reason: Fixed the avatar so it shows up in threads.
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    Hmm. Shouldn't the waters color mostly be a refection of the trees colors? While there should be some refection of the sky blue in the section of the water close to the hint of the sky at the distance, I get the feeling that the water color mostly should reflects the green color of the trees.

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    Last edited by w176; February 28th, 2012 at 07:21 PM.
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    Hi matey

    I think that "w176" has a valid point although you have hinted at the reflections in the water they are not strong enough, And (this is just my opinion you understand) I dont look at it and see a finished painting. I shall attempt to explain why:-

    River.
    there is a small and waterfall feeding the river, no problem with that but the turbulence near it is too pronounced and doesnt match. Under the trees the reflections are blurred and indistinct.

    Atmosphere.
    It looks like you were attempting a steamy jungle atmosphere and its coming over to me as just washed out, its just muting the colours sorry.

    Fore ground.
    Surely the trees in the foreground would be stronger and would hide the stuff behind them. In the section on the right the fore to mid ground area foliage should be stronger and hiding the tree trunks behind them, but we can see through them.

    Far bank.
    Needs more detail and again we can clearly see through the foliage to the tree trunks.

    4 things near the waterfall.
    The picture gives us no clues as to what these four things are, columns? trees?

    Sorry about all that mate but thats some of the things that I am seeing when I look at the image, dont get me wrong I like it so far but with a some decent corrections and another good push it could be really good.

    All the best with it whatevr you decide.

    P.S. I found this image on the net, which is along similar lines to what you were going for and thought it might help or inspire!

    http://simon-scales.blogspot.com/

    Scroll down to jungle river and have a look, all the best with the image and sorry again if you feel trashed.

    A great kind hearted lumbering bullock



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    Resize so we don't have to scroll. I can't make any reasonable critique if I can't see the entire image.

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    He guys! Thanks for taking time to critique on it!
    w176Look at me, not even taking my own advice about reflections. I didn't even occur to me. I think I will go back and fix this one.
    Lightship69Thanks for the tons of info I could use to fix it! The link you sent me has deffintly inspired me to rework this. I've found a solution to all the issues you have pointed out and hope to have something up again soon. I really can't thank ya'll enough.
    JeffX99 Sorry about the size. I run a pretty wide monitor and sometimes I forget about doing a reasonable size. I will post it up again at a more reasonable size but after I finish fixing the issues addressed so far. Thank ya'll. -Brad

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    Fixes and Solutions:
    -Lightninged up the waterfall itself to more thin streams, though I feel it is still a little strong. Maybe less streams of water coming down would help? Unsure, would love some ideas on how to fix it even more.
    -I did some more reflection study and added the correct reflections to it as well as changed the hue of the water itself and added subtle movements in the water with some smudge.
    -I fixed the trees to their correct midground, foreground areas and while I was doing that proceeded to kick myself for being lazy and not fixing it before posting in the first place.
    -I added 2 more columns (of ancient mystery) in the midground foreground to show what they are as well as added some inscriptions for further identification.
    -I added more color and depth to the midground to keep it from being as flat. Maybe I could add even more color? At this point I'm unsure because I don't want to take away from the focus here which is the 4 columns at the waterfall area.
    - Oh and uploaded it to a reasonable size.

    Since I still have some questions, not done yet. If ya'll have any more advice, or still feel its not setting right, let me know. I'll continue to do some more photo research in the meantime.




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    Better size-wise for sure. So, ok...just a warning ahead of time...I don't want to come off all harsh and too critical so please just take it as intended...a gentle shove in the right direction. Also keep in mind I'm not sure how realistic vs. stylized you were going with it.

    The two things that jump out to me are the lack of any sense of light or color. The columns around teh spring? are lit opposite each other? As if the spring were giving off the light? If that is what you're after, and it would be cool, you need to make that much clearer - even to the point it would probably be a completetly different scene and composition. If that isn't the case then the light needs to be consistent on them.

    Color-wise everything is the same basic gray/green. That just makes it quite bland...and not very realistic. A scene like this in reality is full of color, light and texture...so much so that one does need to simplify and organize it, but without killing it. Remember that light and shadow both have color to them - warm light=cool shadows and vice versa.

    I'll try to wrap up...The "mystic pillars" in the forest need to be differentiated from tree trunks somehow - that's what they read as currently.

    There's a strong tangent on the right there with the stream/rock ledge making a right angle.

    Stream isn't really working reflection wise, or with it's environment. A stream like that would be bouncing all about in short cascades in many spots over boulders and rocks. Why? Because that is the type of environment you put around it...large bouldery landscape.

    I don't undersatand the archway in what appears to be a huge wall? That is curently how it reads. If you mean it to be forest it needs a very different treatment.

    So...It's a good start with some potentially interesting ideas. I would look up tons of paintings of plein air painters that have handled forested streams to see how they handle the same subject. Wouldn't hurt to look at plenty of photos of the same. What would be best is to get out there to a stream near you somewhere with a sketchbook and even some paint and study what is happening for at least day. Good luck!

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    JeffX99 I can't thank you enough for the critique you layed down on it. A lot of what you commented on I'm started to pick up. Especially about the rocky terrain, it hit me instantly once i read that. If anything I am inspired to go out and spend some more time outside studying the real thing. Mmm, i might spend sometime learning some more about color and light as well before I pick up to work on this painting again. Everything was helpful, thanks for your time.-Brad

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    Hi matey

    Firstly Thank you very much for giving me back some faith in humanity! I thought you might leap up and down and tell me i dont know what I am on about (it happens!) and how dare I take your work apart when you declared it finished.
    You asked for crits and you got some, more importantly you seem to want to act on them and you got some good advice too especially from "JeffX99" check out his SB and Plein air stuff in his sig bit at the bottom of his replies.

    Secondly If you want to study colours and light then I heartily recommend James Gurneys book of almost the same name "Colour & Light" it is simply one of the best books you will ever lay your hands on and it is a vital resource as well.

    all the very best with your art and I look forward to seeing more posts from you.

    A great kind hearted lumbering bullock



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    A couple things I would suggest, I did a quick paint over to up the contrast and played with the lighting in the clearing a bit. I think you should try to have a bit more fun with it. Throw in some god beams, reflections and high lights in the water, etc.

    I like your frame in frame though. Really directs the eye.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virulentus View Post
    JeffX99 I can't thank you enough for the critique you layed down on it. A lot of what you commented on I'm started to pick up. Especially about the rocky terrain, it hit me instantly once i read that. If anything I am inspired to go out and spend some more time outside studying the real thing. Mmm, i might spend sometime learning some more about color and light as well before I pick up to work on this painting again. Everything was helpful, thanks for your time.-Brad
    Right on Brad - glad to help. I second Lightship's recommendation to pick up Gurney's "Color and Light"...though it is a bit advanced in a sense so don't get too worried if some of the concepts don't make sense at first. I would add Jack Hamm's book, "Drawing Scenery" as well - great little book for environment composition.

    Oh and just so you know, I have a real weak spot for this type of landscape, I basically grew up alongside a stream like this and they are a favorite subject of mine.

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    Ahhh! Even more awesome info! I ran across Gurneys "Colour & Light" when I was researching for some books on such. Now I know It's something I'm going to go ahead and purchase. "Drawing Scenery" is also now my list to get a hold of. I just also picked up a copy of Alla Prima, which so far as been an awesome read. And I have also been spending time on Briggsy's site The Dimensions of Colour, which is awesome haha, but I will have to take in slowly, it's alot of info.
    Lightship69Hah, it's all good man. I knew I was in trouble anyway when Jeffx99 suggested I check Plein Air, I was like "whats plein air"(wikis fast as i could). Then when i was like, tangent? What's a tangent in art. (wikis again) Oops! haha. Obviously I have a lot to learn.
    Bai FanThat look's awesome! I see where a lot of "warm light" could have came from now, didn't think think of it being right there. When I do go over this painting again i believe that's where I will have it coming from. But it's going to be awhile still, still going to spend some time on color and light first before going on this one again. :3
    Jeffx99Unfortunately being where I live, near New Orleans Louisiana it is mostly swamps and dark murky water, in point I envy where you grew up! Haha. (Though I have been able to locate a stream for me to go to and study) Love your plein air paintings! Deffintly more food for thought in them and a few others I have run across since your advice.-Brad

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    Just remember to post updates when you do get back to it.

    ?

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