Forums » Critique

Spanish Mission

    • 85 posts
    March 26, 2012 1:44 AM EDT

    Comment by OPAS, President on March 19, 2012 at 11:14pm
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    Hi Zan,

    At the moment, we can only add new content as comments. Sue and I are trying to find out how to add a true forum to this section. We've asked the programmers and we're waiting for an answer.

    So in the mean time, if you want to add a painting, simply put it in a comment on this thread.

    Keith

    Comment by Zan Barrage on March 19, 2012 at 8:12pm
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    So how do we use this forum Keith? How do we start a new discussion?

    Comment by Keith Thirgood on March 16, 2012 at 12:01am
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    Hi Sue,

    I find that if I concentrate on the big shape, lines and values, I'm more successful. When I neglect these things, the paintings are never as good. If I paint more slowly, I seem to lose the big shapes and get lost in the chaos of the scene.

    Keith

    Comment by Keith Thirgood on March 15, 2012 at 11:58pm
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    Hi John,

    I like your idea of a figure, although usually I'm shy of painting figures as I butcher them so badly. Sometimes I purposely centre the focal point, even though it breaks the "rules". Sometimes it just feels right. And sometimes I just wasn't paying attention.

    Keith

    Comment by Keith Thirgood on March 15, 2012 at 11:55pm
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    Hi Zan,

    That assumes that I'm actually thinking as I approach my subject. :-)

    Unfortunately, I approach each subject and find an angle and cropping that "feel" right to me. It comes from my days as a professional phographer. You learn to deal with what is in front of you and try to make a pleasing (or frightening, appalling, cheery or whatever) photo.

    I do the same when I approach a subject I'm going to paint. I have a gut reaction to the scene and try to choose a viewpoint that allows the strongest feeling to come at me. I then move things, like I moved the mountains into the scene from much further left, to assemble something that reflects the power I felt.

    Only later do I look at it and realize all of the compositional mistakes I've made, the colours that I've missed, etc.Sometimes I fix those in the studio, sometimes I leave it and fix it on a bigger studio work.

    The warmth of the building and the intrusion of the mountains were what affected me, so that's likely what I was trying to get across.

    Keith

    Comment by Zan Barrage on March 15, 2012 at 9:22pm
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    Keith I really like the harmony of colours in this one. One thing though, your style is more post impressionist than impressionist. Impressionists used a method of mixing colour visually leaving dabs of single colours to stand together and make a visual atmospheric effect. Post impressionists like our Group of Seven, used solid colours and deviated from representational work. 

    I was once told that as you move away from representation, key elements such as composition and design become more important to the success of a work. Not that they don't matter in representational work, but the less tools you chose to use, the more the remaining tools weigh on the success of the work. Perhaps you can shed some light on your design and composition here and help us see what you were trying to do?

    Comment by David Sharpe on March 15, 2012 at 8:13pm
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    You certainly captured the heat and colour of the Southwest Keith. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Sue Wilkins on March 15, 2012 at 11:36am
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    Keith - I never would have guessed Acrylic; I thought perhaps Gouache over a black ground. Your approach reminds me of what Larry Seiler is working toward these days over at WetCanvas. Both of you infuse energy with your colour and the deliberate, non fussy strokes keep your painting wonderfully fresh.  
    I like what you do!

      Sue

    Comment by John Mullenger on March 15, 2012 at 10:53am
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    Keith, your use of colour and shape is fantastic - I particularly like the black lines which isolate each shape into an abstract form. This painting would look fantastic on a wall if it were 3*4 feet.

    I think the focus of the painting is the church facade, which in my opinion is too centered, And I also would have grayed down/lightened the sky and mountain just to push it back a little and add more depth to the canvas. Assuming the facade is the focal point, maybe add a human figure entering the church doorway, (wearing a sky- turquoise shirt?).

    Comment by Keith Thirgood on March 14, 2012 at 9:08pm
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    Hi Sue,

    I paint in acrylic as long as it is above freezing. I keep oils for winter up here. It's a 12 x 16.

    As for the mountains, if I was doing a larger painting using this as my source, I would subdue the mountains somehow. Likely make them a little colder and reduce the saturation so they look further away.

    Thanks for your input.

    Comment by Sue Wilkins on March 14, 2012 at 8:52pm
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    I really don't feel qualified to critique but with taking all Johannes Vloothuis's free online classes lately I've been learning to look around a painting and pay better attention to what I'm viewing and how I respond to what I'm seeing.... so here is my 'feelings' response to your great painting.

    First, I really enjoy your handling of your medium and the deliberate strokes you make - that is something I really, really need to work on myself and I so admire when an artist does that!

    I like how the weight is distributed heavier to one side than the other.  
    My eye is drawn nicely to your doorway, but doesn't stop there and I move into building blocks of the mission walls which are lovely - I particularly enjoy the ragged patches as if the adobe has aged and broken down a bit. 
    I like your abstracted treatment and the shot of turquoise that gives relief to the hot earth colours; it adds bright coolness to the heat you'd expect to find in Arizona!

    If I may comment - I do find just a bit distracting the mountains(?) to the left side seemingly on the same plane with the building as I'd like be be drawn further into your painting and I feel it creates a bit of a wall.  I don't know how to describe what I mean, so I might be just talking through my hat! :)

    Keith what medium do you use and what size is your painting?

    Super painting, and thanks for stepping up to be the first to post for a critique.  I have one I've been scratching my head over so will put it up soon.

    Sue

    Comment by Keith Thirgood on March 14, 2012 at 6:19pm
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    I promised I'd be the first to submit a painting for your critique. This is one of a series of painting I did when Helen and I went to Arizona in January. It's an old Spanish mission wth a mountain range in the distance. I'm not a realist. More of an impressionist, if that's not too grand a title for what I do. I'm looking for your input. What have I done right? What have I done wrong?

    • 26 posts
    October 16, 2012 10:40 AM EDT

     Your use of colour here is very harmonious. The blue is unexpected and works well. Repetition of shapes, that vary in size creates an effective and visually pleasing rythmn.  Effective use of drybrush adds texture.  The one thing I am looking for is the centre of interest.  I like to use contrst to create the centre of interest.