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 Uneasy Spring

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Jim
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Location Location : Cody, Wyoming

PostSubject: Uneasy Spring   Mon May 24, 2010 1:33 pm

Hi Folks;

This painting is finished, but I'd still welcome a critique. There is a story behind the painting and I also have a lot of comments about how it was made (you won't have to wonder; "What ever was he thinking!") . Since there is a lot of stuff, it's probably best to point to it on the web site, rather than attempting to re-do it all here. Browse to http://www.jmossmanart.com/400-News/news.html to find it. That gets you to the story and in that you can click to the "how" comments and images.

Defining the center of interest in the painting does deal with the Spotlight Effect covered in a video mentioned by Dale under Callie's "Fruity Still Life" post in this forum. However, I like to apply it subtly relying more on color and value, rather than blurring. This was pretty tricky; perhaps it didn't go quite far enough.
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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: Uneasy Spring   Mon May 24, 2010 3:03 pm

Very nice, Jim. I've never been to Yellowstone, but I get the sense of wide open space and brisk, cold (early spring) air looking at this. I did get the elk (as pointed out in your explanation) as the focal point. Now for a little nit-picking

There's something my eyes went right to before I looked at anything else, before I noticed the elk. Here's your painting in B & W, see if you notice what I'm getting at:


OK, I'm really distracted by the tree foliage on the left. It's one of the most prominent things in the painting. Also, notice the evergreens to the left fade into the hill behind them (value-wise). Maybe softening the contrast on that tall tree and bringing in a little color variation and shadows in the evergreens would help balance the foreground (wonderful work there!) on the right. The values remain the same for the closer hill on the left/center as for the further hill on the right. I'd be tempted to soften the left edge of the distant hill and make the 2 little trees on the left taller to give the impression the viewer is looking out from the woods into the distance. I don't think it would hurt to lose the elk on the right that's going out of the scene... but now I'm really getting nit-picky!

Let's see if anyone else has some ideas, I'm certainly no authority on perfect painting techniques! My unfinished paintings "graveyard" would prove that
But I think we all learn a lot when we get other eyeballs checking our stuff out and get some discussion going.
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: Uneasy Spring   Mon May 24, 2010 3:50 pm

Jim, Beautiful painting! The only thing that I would do if I could paint a decent landscape which I can't is to blur a little more where the hill meets the sky but it looks perfect to me just as is. Smile

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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Uneasy Spring   Mon May 24, 2010 4:48 pm

Jim, It is good to see your work again. I'm used to more brilliant colors in your paints, but this one certainly tells a story. I looked at the B & W one first that Callie posted before going to your website and had a hard time seeing the depth because of the similarities in value.

Once I looked at the actual painting and could see the variation in color, I could focus on the elk in the center. I think I would still tone down the mountains in the background just to give it more feeling of depth.

I know that photos and different computers make the the picture look different. In the original, there probably is a lot more variation and the elk stand out better. I would love to see the original.

Thanks for sharing the story of the painting. It makes it very special.

Judy

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Jim
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PostSubject: Re: Uneasy Spring   Thu May 27, 2010 5:17 pm

Hi All;

Thanks so much for your helpful comments. Yep, blurring the edge of the far hill (and/or scumbling in more light blue) would help push it back and make for a better painting. Having other eyes look at the painting is a real help. I never thought about the evergreen on the left standing out too much. (It's easy for me to get lost in portraying what's there.) Probably lightening up a bit on the value of the dark green in it would have been the way to go. This one was a real challenge. All in all I'm fairly happy with it and have learned a lot. However, I do wonder what I'll think about it in a couple of years. On some of my earlier ones it is now so obvious on what would improve them. Hey, that must mean I'm improving!
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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Uneasy Spring   Fri May 28, 2010 12:31 pm

Jim,

You all ready have so much talent. I have loved your paintings ever since I was introduced to them in December and invited you to join us. We all learn so much from sharing with each other and every painting is a challenge and hopefully an improvement.

Judy

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Dale

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PostSubject: Re: Uneasy Spring   Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:21 pm

Jim - You do incredible work. I particularly like "Southfork Storm front". And I think I will try your use of glass with the palette box.

Thanks you for taking the time to walk us through the process.

Anytime you want to walk us through how to paint water, I will be an avid student.
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