Tree Bridge, Critique Please <3
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Thread: Tree Bridge, Critique Please <3

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    Tree Bridge, Critique Please <3

    This is one of my first few landscape paintings done without one clear reference. This is based off several pictures of Indian tree root bridges. I'm making this to put in my portfolio because I don't have any other landscapes (I mostly paint portraits). I tried to make the composition based on the rule of thirds. I'm liking how the left corner turned out, but I'm having real trouble with the scale and the size of the steps (added a stick figure for reference). Also, just general comments because I know there are probably a lot of other mistakes beginning to unfold. I also don't really know how to start making leaves in the background because they just look like fuzz when I use a leaf brush.

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    Last edited by Ellyon; December 29th, 2012 at 04:53 PM.
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    I tried to work on the stairs some more, detailed a few of the lower ones to see what it looked like. I already feel like the image is becoming incohesive, but perhaps that is because I'm not adding details at an equal level... I also added some color because I felt like it was becoming dull.

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    You're going to be looking up at your little figure, catching glimpses through the slats of the bridge. That's going to be a tough one -- find reference!

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    I like the ambiance and mood you've created here quite a lot! But I do believe your bridge should be thinner, vertically. The way you have it now, it looks more like a hammock.

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    You should think about keeping a figure in this but not in the center of the picture.

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    I agree with Blue up there. The figure where it stands is rather distracting from the beauty of the piece. Although, that may just be because it hasn't been drawn in yet.

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    http://rootbridges.blogspot.com/ These are some of the pictures I've been using as reference. Do you think the perspective is working better now? And the composition? I'm going to keep fixing the other areas up. Yes, I think I'm going to add a figure at the stream kneeling down washing clothes. I really do want atmosphere, I was people to hear water trickling when they look at it!

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    I think the figure washing clothes is a great idea!

    I see what you're trying to do with the staircase, with it winding down towards the viewer, but I don't think it's working as well as it should. It's path seems overall a little too linear and "straight up," and not dynamic enough. This could probably be fixed by flattening out the steps a bit, or fixing the perspective on them by making them more frequent/smaller as it winds in to the distance. The way it curves is nice, however, the way it briefly cuts off on the right side is not good. It's not quite as bad as a tangent, but still undesirable. I'd widen the piece a bit, or, to keep the "rule of thirds" composition that you tried to get, change the stairway's path to be a little tighter or more direct.

    Also, even though this may take much more work to do, I think that ideally, there should be a difference in the proximity of the two trees to the viewer, with the rightmost one being closer and the leftmost one being further away. I imagine this would make the eye wander down the path and "in to" the painting a bit more, especially with the staircase and river. If the path/bridge went away from the viewer rather than just perpendicularly across their line of sight, it would be more engaging, especially if you make the river wind away in to the background a little bit more, maybe in the opposite direction the bridge goes (as in, bridge goes back-left, river goes back-right), which would create a sort of cool two-paths-through-the-image sensation. Right now, the eye wanders up the stairs and then right across the bridge and it's done as soon as it's ejected off of the left side of the painting, with nothing spurring it onwards or redirecting it back across the piece. It's as if the image almost tries to get you to stop looking at it - which is a sad, because it's such a pretty image!

    Also, if you take that route, as a personal idea, I'd probably make the path the bridge leads to eventually come back down to go along the left river bank way in the background - but that's just me.

    On that note, ALL of this is just me. I'm pretty inexperienced, I may or may not have no idea what I'm talking about.

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    I see what you mean, I was already trying to do that with the roots on the back tree but I'll try in make in more prominent and shave down that back tree some. I extended the canvas and wrapped around the handrails some more. I redlined my own picture to try and get it better haha. I still feel like the bridge and trees look small overall but in the pictures, they're rather magnificent.
    I want to really work hard and get this piece looking good because my instructor paints primarily landscapes...so he will know if something doesn't look right.

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    I'm having a really hard time seeing the bridge the way you want it seen. To me it looks like the bridge has been flipped by wind and we're looking at the bottom. I think it's the way you've painted the tree - it's creating a tangent with the top rope.

    I made a horrible MS Paintover of your art to try and illustrate what I'm seeing. I hope it clears things up a bit. Who knows, maybe I'm just imagining things.
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    I feel like the tree on the right is messing up the composition . Up to 26 layers now....

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    Ok I'm fairly new, but I believe your perspective is off (unless these were the proportions you were looking for). It looks like your eye level is set around 2.5m off the ground. I think you wanted to make the height of the bridge around the same height of the stairs, which should be around 1.25m, but right now it looks closer to 2m. It might not sound like a big difference, but it might help fix the off-ness of the illustration.

    Also I agree with Pyre, the right tree already looks closer to us than the left because of the flow of the water, which means the bridge needs a slanted perspective. Hope I could help.

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    Ok I'm fairly new, but I believe your perspective is off (unless these were the proportions you were looking for). It looks like your eye level is set around 2.5m off the ground. I think you wanted to make the height of the bridge around the same height of the stairs, which should be around 1.25m, but right now it looks closer to 2m. It might not sound like a big difference, but it might help fix the off-ness of the illustration.

    Also I agree with Pyre, the right tree already looks closer to us than the left because of the flow of the water, which means the bridge needs a slanted perspective. Hope I could help.

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    You are going into a rather smudgy painting without having a clear idea of where everything fits, especially with that odd perspective. In your shoes I'd stop adding layers - or rather, add only one more: do a line drawing (with nice clean lines), to figure out the perspective and placement of each of your elements before you do anything else. If you can't do it cleanly in photoshop, then (I can't believe I'm channeling arenhaus here) do it in pencil with a ruler. You'll thank me later :-)

    D'Arcy

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    You are going into a rather smudgy painting without having a clear idea of where everything fits, especially with that odd perspective. In your shoes I'd stop adding layers - or rather, add only one more: do a line drawing (with nice clean lines), to figure out the perspective and placement of each of your elements before you do anything else. If you can't do it cleanly in photoshop, then (I can't believe I'm channeling arenhaus here) do it in pencil with a ruler. You'll thank me later :-)

    D'Arcy

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