Thursday, May 7, 2009

What was I thinking?

Work that was in progress and now I'm stuck.  For one thing it's bigger 18x36.  I think I worked too closely to the photograph and got away from the more painterly feel I wanted to give it.

Any suggestions?



Maryanne said...

A couple of tips here, (I'm sure you are familiar with all of them, but when we get stuck, we forget) Working big is awesome, but there is that push pull of big areas, and detail/ warm,cool / bright, desaturated / advancing, receding color. Look at all of those relationships.

Step away from the canvas,
look at it with "unfocused" eyes so you see the space/volume better.

Is your resource photo little? If so, can you scan it and enlarge it, or view on a monitor large?

Sorry, I got carried away, my art teacher hat got stuck.

You will do fine with this, we all have those areas we need to scrape and redo, then it gets better.

Dana Cooper Fine Art said...

I would agree with Maryanne in some respects if you are unhappy with it but...I think this is one of your best exactly as it is...I love it...the water has a sense of movement and hills have beautiful color and light!

Cathyann said...

Short tips here, longer in email if you would like.
Maryanne is correct. Big canvas, big brushes. Premix colors. Decide on a harmony. You are permitted to use a ruler when working with the horizon and right angles or man made things!
And most importantly is the question...what do you want to convey with this image?? teacher #2 now walks off stage left.....
Your courage to ask questions and keep at it, is admirable and always a good sign. A good artist never stops the search.Yay, Sheila! Hugs...

Tracey Clarke said...

Well, what would YOU say you are stuck on? What is your vision for the painting? What you need to do next depends on what feel you are aiming for, on what your intention is for the work. All the comments are "correct." You just need to apply the ones you need to reach your specific goal. The technical aspect of painting is just problem solving. The soul of painting is personal.

Manon Doyle said...

Hi Sheila,
I love it! I'm sure all the fine artists will give you great advise! All I have to offer is...... step away from the canvas.... put it away for a couple of day and then look at it. You'll figure it out!

Cynthia said...

Sheila, I see it moving in circles like a great swrill of water`s appealing. I think Mannon Doyle`s advice to step back and wait a couple of days is wise. Also, that visual movement effect is remarkable! <3

Paintings by Irit Bourla said...

I am not an art teacher as you know but I love what I see.
The water, color and movement.
I agree with Dana, the art teacher.

artbyakiko said...

What a beautiful scenery of Golden Gate Bridge!
Stepping away and looking at the painting definitely helps especially for large pieces like this one. I would experiment with more colors in the water. Yes, it's easy for me to say because I'm not the one painting. lol Good luck!

Gary Heller said...

I admire that you would put work out there that you are not comfortable with yet and be open to suggestions.
I agree with much of the advice given by others. Step back, look with a non focused eye and decide if it feels good and if not what is it that feels wrong.
Personally I love the movement in the water and the highlights and tones from it, and the rest of the scene works as well.
If it never turns out to be amongst one of your favorites, it does not mean it is not good.
Your work has always pleased my eyes, and this one is no exception.

christine said...

Sheila, I love that you are working on such a large piece!

Also, I just wanted to let you know I haved awarded you with the Kreativ Blogger Award on my blog! You can see it: here. Congrats!

christine said...

Oops! I meant to say "have" awarded you. :) Christine

Kate said...

Hey Sheila,
I absolutely love one trick a favorite painting teacher taught me - turn the painting upside down and step back to give a look.

Often, something about the composition (as abstract shape and color) just jumps out at me.

Kim VanDerhoek said...

You are right, working large is challenging. I would try a few of the tips other artists have left here. Overall, I think it is one of your strongest paintings to date! The structure is good and all the colors work very well. It is missing that painterly feeling but, if you soften some edges that aren't around your focal point that may help you achieve some of the feel you are looking for. I think you've done a fantastic job already!

sofie said...

when I look to hard and long I become overly critical. shake it off, loosen your grip and let the brush do the work. you don't want a photograph, you want an interpretation. I love your color choices and the airy feel.

Cheryl Anderson said...

I grew up near SF, so I think this painting has a nice feel to it--especially the hills.

I agree with everyone who said it depends on what YOU want. If you want it to be more realistic, start with the drawing then check the values, color, and edges. If you want it to be more impressionistic/abstract, then it's really up to you. Try putting it away for a couple of days and while you are not looking at it, make a list of what you hoped to accomplish when you started out. Then pull it out and see if you can make that vision happen.

I've got so many paintings in the closet that will probably wind up in the trash it isn't funny, but I always try to remember that there is almost as much value in starting something as there is in finishing it!

Carol Horzempa said...

This is something I remember reading in one of Richard Schmids books about edges. He said, "Together with harmony and value control, edges help unify a painting. A most arresting focal point can be created by placing the lightest light, and darkest dark, the strongest colors, and the sharpest edge at the same juncture on the canvas." Now if I would only remember this myself when I paint!

I really love how you handled the hills and the water. It would probably not take much to make the painting sing by deciding where you want to draw the eye by creating a strong focal point. A couple dabs of paint and maybe softening a few edges you will have a beautiful painting. You are almost there, Sheila! Great job so far!

r garriott said...

There are some great suggestions here! Another trick I use when I can't figure out how to fix something is look at it's reflection in a mirror.

A couple of things come to mind; somewhere in my past I've heard that water is the color of the sky reflected. So maybe having some of the greener blues of the sky reflect in parts of the water would unite the sky and water. (Sometimes I try coloring these things on my computer before I commit to paint). And maybe a touch of cadmium red light on the bridge, just a little as highlights?

pencilportraits said...

Wow, Sheila, I need tips from you not the other way around! said...

This is a nice start. I would recommend looking at the actual bay and seeing the variety of colors in the water. So far the water color is too uniform.

Dean Grey said...

Well, everyone pretty much mentioned all the tips and suggestions already for this particular painting so I won't repeat any of it.

I would like to say I think the colors are great, especially the blues in the water.

If you want the cityscape to be more painterly, then by all means try and make it more painterly.

Think of it this way. If you don't like the look of the painting that you are willing to trash it then why not give it a shot and make some major adjustments?

You really have nothing to lose if you think about it!

Go Sheila!......and be sure to show us how the finished painting looks.


L.Holm said...

I think you've gotten a lot of great suggestions, and don't need more advice... :-) I'm impressed to see such a large piece, and your range of abilities and constant exploration is inspiring.

David Larson Evans said...

Turn upside down and or a mirror view always helps me.

Mona said...

Sheila, it might not be useful if you don't feel happy with this, and you have received plenty of advice, but it's so joyful and expansive that I just love this painting the way it is.

Carrie Jacobson said...

Hey, Sheila. I have a painting of the Hamilton Fish Bridge, over the Hudson, that I keep because it is precisely the kind of painting I never, ever want to do.

It's not a "bad" painting - but I realized that I was trying to make the painting look like what I was seeing - and that's not the kind of painter I want to be. I want the paintings to feel like what I'm seeing.

I look at that bridge painting of mine almost every day. And I do what I can do to paint freely, and quickly and passionately and with urgency.

This is your very nature, I think, to paint with feeling. So hang that big old bridge painting up somewhere and keep it as a lesson learned, maybe. And start another one from scratch.

Just my 2 cents.


Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Just got my computer back-longest week I can remember and hopefully won't experience again!!

I think this one is wonderful Sheila!! I love it!!