May 14, 2007

Geramium #1 -HELP!!!

Ok - it was Mother's Day afternoon, I paused to enjoy my potted geraniums and decided it was a perfect sketch subject although I do not do well in the out-of-doors for some reason. I sketched and added pen definition, then watercolor, ugh - It is sorely needy. Over the last few months I have learned that strong values are key in most subjects. I stopped here before I completely messed this piece up BUT------ What does it need, the white geraniums are lost - the stairs need more depth?? whites need a strong background to stand out but I could not decide on a color- I think the sketch is ok but I want to know what steps are needed to make it strong. ANY advice or criticism is Very Welcome and urgently needed - thanks in advance and I will re-work it and resubmit after advising.

8 comments:

Lin said...

Hi Sandy! Oh yes, sketching out of doors is so challening -- change of light, temperatures, sun drying things too fast, mosquitoes!

I am no expert, but a good friend of mine told me that when a piece is bothering you and you don't know what it needs, it probably needs DARK values ... something to play against the light and mid values ... so in that vein, perhaps adding more dark browns to the terra cotta pots? maybe some dark dark blue highlights to the pots to deepen the tones????????

Africantapestry said...

I like what I see Sandy..your paintings has wonderful"bones" which is what all paintings need. I'm no expert either...but I agree with Lin, I fee it just needs a little more definition in terms of values. Squint your eyes, look at your subject outside, squint and look at your painting. Measure the relationship of the darkest dark and lightest light. I think you'll see that we always do OK on the lights, but we're afraid of having a go at the darks. So maybe have your darks a bit deeper to contrast more with the lights, that would also lift out your white flowers. I do love your watering can...it is beautifully drawn and a lovely color!
Good luck
Ronell

Lynn said...

This is really good, Sandy. Maybe if you darkened the stairway railings it would make the white flowers in front of them stand out a bit more. I often have trouble with the darkest values myself. I think effective use of the darkest values is the biggest difference between beginners and "professionals". I share your pain ;)

Africantapestry said...

Sandy, I'm feeling very "forward" here, sorry for that...I just think this is such a beautiful composition with beautiful colors... I get carried away. I looked at it again and your values are actually good if you look at the painting globally. Maybe it is more in terms of defining the shapes of the objects themselves..for example: I would darken the inside of the watering can to give it volume. And the same with the inside part of the staircase post and rail. The same with the steps to define the back of the step from the actual step. And then the leaves would throw more of a darker shadow on the pots, to add to Lin's suggestion. Then you can have a look at it from there. It is so close to being just perfect...
Ronell

Karen said...

Sandy,

First off, I think you need to work on better watercolor paper! That's no fault of the work, but you will get richer color and better values on the good stuff. It may just be the photo but it appears you're working on lightweight paper. Be sure to use plenty of pigment in your mixes - most people use too little. It's also important to get your dark values down in a few layers. Glazing and glazing and glazing may make it darker but there's the danger of mud, too.

The red and white blooms will pop against a darker, richer background ... the whites are lost against white. When you mix your dark values, use the colors you've used in your subjects - in this case your reds and greens. That will give unity to the painting as well.

Michael Emerald said...

Looks fine to me, certainly better than what I could dream of doing. The white flowers I would add color to. As painted, they look like ghosts. Only the lines are presently visible. You asked for advice, ordinarily I'd praise what I like of which there is much.

Linda said...

Sandy, I agree with Karen. It looks like your paper may be keeping you from getting those dark values you need. This really looks like a great sketch -- it the white geraniums bother you, just make them red! (You have that option, you know ...)
;-D
Great work!

caseytoussaint said...

I think this is off to a really good start, as the drawing is lovely. I'll leave technical advice to those better qualified, but I agree with Ronell and Lin that the values might be too uniform. Make a black and white version with your photo program and see if that helps to clarify things.