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I did this painting a few years ago for a friend of mine. I know the horses/tree in background need to be cleaner but what else should I do differently???
Be careful when you post a title like "be gentle" round these parts; you're bound to attract the opposite response from people.
But it's all good. ^_^ Well, before I really get into this pic, I ask if you have any more recent work to show. Usually when you post in this section, it is for a piece that you intend to continue to re-work.
The painting overall lacks a sense of depth and atmosphere. Part of this is because your values in your plains and sky are the same - the other part of this is because your plains and sky are pretty monochromatic. The sky is rarely so flat of a shade of blue:
You can see here that there is a much more noticable shift from darker blue to palest blue (with even a touch of rose) at the horizon. Though it's tougher to spot in the grass, you will also notice, if you squint, that the horizon tends to go more pale too. I see you have started to do that with your mountains, so if you darkened the area in your foreground more, you would be able to achieve more depth.
One trick I learned when trying to create atmosphereic distance is to imagine that there is a thin, transparent sheet of blue gauze hanging in front of you, for every 50 yards of distance. Thus, the further away an object is, the more lighter, bluer it tends to become (this would affect your teepees, which are currently all the same value and darkness, despite how far away they are from the viewer). This works well for sunny scenes such as yours and of course you can substitute blue with any other light color, depending on the overall lighting of your environment.
We've got some amazing environment designers on this site, I hope a few chime in. *hint hint*
Last edited by Steph Laberis; January 2nd, 2006 at 07:30 PM.
Willow's just packed with good advice! And as a quick addition, never (ever) put one of the main subjects so close to being tangential to the edge of the work. The wolf's feet almost look to be sitting on the bottom of the painting. This sucks the eye off the page immediately, and is very uncomfortable for the viewer.
right, my first bit of advice would be to bring in a really hard brush and tighten up your focal points, get rid of the fuzziness. As far as your environment goes, you need some environment elements to break up the monotany, the more you have the easier it is to show depth, something very tough to do with nothing in it. You have the teepees, fair enough but they jes seem kinda scattered if you think a little more about where you place them, and do it stategicaly you can show alot more depth.
The atmospheric perspective willow-whisp was talking means that everything that fades into the distance looses contrast between its lights and dark and as a rule generally becomes lighter not darker then the things in the front. So your tent closest to camera can have the darkest patches and the brightest bits of light. Your kind of using the tents to your advantage by placing a similar element at staggered intervals shows scale and distance quiet well you jes need to reverse your values like i explained.
Traps alot of people fall into when first starting to do environments is not having any transition elements between fore middle and background, something thats kinda really important because if it detaches, kinda like it is in your you start to lose it. One solution may be to bring the tents way closer to camera, useualy i jes fall back on cool looking rock formations though im cheap that way even some flat rolling hills would do to break up the environment a little, plains like that can be incredibly tough to pull off.
Hope that helped