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  • @Ezra Try to work on edges / white spots. What do I see around dog's head (which shape is ok) tells me that you finished painting dog and then started working on background.
    As for me I had a big problem with edges because of feeling that I will ruin what already is on canvas. So getting close with painting background to main subject which is already painted dog may be hard and needs some courage - after all it can damage already painted head edges.
    If that's it just try to overcome it - even if you'll ruin something you will learn a lot and still have a possibility to fix it. Other way would be good old 'start from background' approach.

    Secondly it seems like you don't use enough paint, or maybeyou need to add some medium too. Now you don't have whole canvas covered, this gives a feeling that painting is not finished.

    Hope that helps, I'll say that this painting is still in-progress and can become really nice piece :)

  • EzraEzra -
    edited December 2015
    I wanted the white stuff. It's like, he's so white, he's not really all there. it's a special idea for this. It's like I want him to be a cloud with an eye here and part of a nose etc. maybe it doesn't work, but it was by design. But if it looks like a mistake then maybe not good. it's part of a series wherei do similar things, I'll post
  • interesting you bring up edges and the background foreground thing. It seems to me, but i don't know that many classic paintings are painted without doing background first.
  • I like the etheral quality of your work.  It's like you are focusing on and capturing the spiritual essence of your subject matter.  Django is my favorite.  :)
  • thanks summer. my wife described it to me in words i couldn't come up with he's like a 'dream dog'
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited December 2015
    I think what @mikp is talking about is something that can be seen in all of the work you've posted on the forum, and is the number one "problem" I see in your work (of course this is just a personal taste thing). You have big gaps between your subjects and the background, or even between areas of the subject (like the hair and forehead of the girl with the dress), and tons of white canvas showing through in other areas as well (the dress the girl is wearing). This creates a "cut out" effect where everything looks pasted in or like every piece of the paint has a bright halo around it.

    I would suggest trying two things:

    1 — Staining/toning your canvas to a neutral value color, not white. This helps get your values right as well, and when canvas does show through it tends to work better… although I would still try to have FAR less canvas showing through, or even try to have no canvas showing through anywhere and using MUCH more paint as an experiment. Also note that when you have a significant amount of canvas showing through like in the girl's dress, and any amount of white canvas really, there's almost no point in color checking/matching from life or from a photo because the canvas changes the color so much. So more coverage is required if you're color checking/matching.

    2 — Don't leave gaps of canvas between the background and the subject or different areas of the subject. There are different ways you can do it, but you can see how Mark handles edges of the subject bumping into (or even slightly overlapping) the background in this demo:

    If you have any interest in painting realism, then I would say the advice above is essential because the white in your paintings makes it impossible to get a realistic image. If you don't care to learn to paint realism, then maybe you don't need to change anything. In some of your paintings the way you do it sort of works somehow as a stylistic thing, but I think it would be good to learn a different approach so you have the ability to choose which approach to take depending on the piece you're working on.

    I like the painting Django though.  :)  I'm a sucker for dog paintings! Handsome dog, too.
  • Thanks, Big D. When does it work and when does it not work? It's intentional. I don't use it all the time or a white background all the time. But I'm still trying to figure out when it works and doesn't work. When I let white canvas (board) show through though I kind of feel like I'm cheating the customer though. The very least I owe them is to paint the whole thing. Hah. These are the dumb things I think about.  I feel like posting a painting where I can prove I don't do it all the time, but that would be silly. But I'll keep what you said it mind. I've heard it from others on the forum. I actually learned the halo technique as a standard thing to do a long time ago. You see it in edgework in the classic works to make stuff stand out. Take a Bourgerouh painting. I 'm sure you know this all. part of glazing.
  • I don't see the Bouguereau connection at all. I've never seen white canvas showing through on the edges in any Bouguereau paintings, or anything that looks like what you're doing. I would try to paint without effects or making things "stand out" or anything like that until you've gotten a firm grasp on painting what you see accurately and successfully. The best thing you could do would be to go through the online course (free) and follow it to the letter, no matter how tedious, and don't take shortcuts or disregard some steps or instructions no matter what. Once you've successfully painted a couple realistic paintings, you can start integrating what you've learned into your own style or whatever. It will make an enormous difference.

    The white showing through works (for me) in some of your stuff just as an abstract thing, like here:

    I don't think it works at all for anything you want to make look even somewhat realistic or anything which isn't meant to be bright everywhere (so most scenes/compositions/subjects).
  • I like your idea, listen to these guys and keep working to perfect your ideas. I like what you're going after. Good luck 
  • I often hear people say:   "Just don't try to change me."  It means trusting that the new thing is the right thing to do.  First you have to trust in that.  Then you will be able to change and want to.   
  • I think you captured the look of your dog very well. But the comments about the background are I think valid. Robert Batement had a similar problem, solved it by mixing a batch of medium and some colors, all hazy painted all around the main area and it made the subject pop!
  • For me, I'm trying to leave space between shapes for an etherial kind of vague feel, but try and keep the overall impression of the 3d object. that's why i picked the white dog. also i'm trying to pull out colors from the white, that were more subtle and possibly hallucinations. sort of a ghost or apparition, you know. Thanks for the Milne. I've never heard of him till now, but because you mentioned him I did some looking on google. yes. I think maybe this is kind of a similar idea . Puts the disjointed pieces together on a flat white and makes it into something with real 3d structure. but ghostly.I'll check out some of his other stuff.  
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