November 16th, 2013, 08:26 AM
I'm working on this oil painting and I could really use some help! First,How well do you think it's progressing currently,and what do you see that needs majorly fixed?
November 16th, 2013, 08:41 AM
Need more info on what you're trying to do (and what we're seeing) and scale it down a bit.
November 16th, 2013, 08:56 AM
it's meant to be like a surreal desert. All of the mounds are meant to sort of look like wet sandy clay. I just wanted some tips on the lighting and how the forms could be adjusted.
November 16th, 2013, 09:10 AM
Well I suspect it's daytime so you should define a light source. Just be careful where you place it since it could affect the composition.
Then you need to set strong shadows (no need to go in very dark values, just make them visible) and work a bit on the lighting. Obviously clay will be darker (which you've done correctly), but it will also reflect light differently. It will reflect sunlight in a stronger way especially where the angle is optimal, while it will be darker where it gets a bit less light. So basically you have less areas that are lit up but in a much stronger way.
Here's a reference to illustrate what I said :
Note that if this is not the way you want to go just say so.
November 16th, 2013, 09:14 AM
Maybe a tad bit more matte, but this is basically what I'm trying to get at. But, I'm also trying to make it look like it's part of the ground, not so much on top of.
November 16th, 2013, 09:42 AM
I know this is a little ironic, but there isn't very much concept behind this painting,it just sort of started to be. I guess my biggest question is, Is it visually pleasing, or is there anything that pops out and subtracts from the painting?
November 16th, 2013, 11:14 AM
Well to be honest it feels like you've rushed a bit too much into things. There's way too much sky and the shapes are weirdly placed. I'm quite sure that if you have a central clay thingy, with more flattened ones around, or got them to be more linked together you could improve it. Also, the one that is cut at the side of the painting is kind of bothering me. The composition needs more work.
Here's another picture :
I'm not saying this is exactly what you should be aiming for composition-wise, but something visually pleasing in a similar way. The plant is in front of the sky, it isn't cut, it doesn't look overcrouded and so on.
For your painting if you're keeping that vertical canvas, maybe make a taller clay construction that takes advantage of it. Or flatten everything and get the canvas horizontal. Also, think a bit about the horizon line. Either get a transition line that is far away, with everything going into whites/grays in the middle (vanishes into some fog), or get a strong line like here. The first one would soften things up and give more depth, the second would help getting attention on a point.
You can always do 'thumbnails' on some paper.
Also, get the perspective and shapes right. Wrong perspective like the top right clay thing has is quite visually unpleasing.
What I think is that you've got an idea that has quite alot of potential but that hasn't been exploited properly. Well at least if you want something that's pleasing to look at.
November 16th, 2013, 12:15 PM
Okay, I think I might go bac to square one then. I'll keep this painting as a sort of reference for what I need to expand on, but start another going from thumbnails to study sketch to finally the final piece. I will post later once I have the the thumbnails and sketch completed.
I am really appreciating your help!
November 16th, 2013, 03:11 PM
Feel free to post thumbnails here, you'll probably get additionnal advice. The same goes for each step.
November 16th, 2013, 06:39 PM
November 16th, 2013, 07:01 PM
Avoid reaching the top of the canvas that way. The 'spikes' reaching the top line draw attention and get it away from the rest of the painting.
I can see that working depending on how you're planning to get the rest of the composition, especially lighting and distance effects. You want them to appear a bit like a forest ? Also, what's the top right circle thing ?
November 16th, 2013, 07:56 PM
The circle thing is not going to be included on the end composition. I was playing around with the possibility of having some type of planets in the background, but, I've decided against it.
November 16th, 2013, 07:57 PM
And yes, I'm hoping for a surreal desertesqe forest.
November 17th, 2013, 03:15 PM
here's take 2, I'm going to just use these forms, and I'm cutting out the first row of forms because they look a little forced.
November 17th, 2013, 04:37 PM
Looks so much better. Like I said, just be careful with the tips not getting to close to the top of the canvas. Once you get the sky done it might pop out a bit too much. I'm talking about the one on the far left only.
Well good luck painting and all. If the sky is blue, the shadows will have a slight blue tint to them, because they'll get the diffused light of the sky. I may recommend getting the whole thing painted with the values and lights you want before going into details and giving it a realistic look.