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Would this photo make an ok painting?

edited May 2017 in General Discussion
I'd like to try another seascape. My first ever DMP painting was a seascape but I think I could do a better job now that I've learned a bit of technique. It's winter here and I don't feel like freezing in the sleet on a windswept beach. Fortunately, a friend sent me a photo of the view from near her boatshed which is not far from here and she's happy for me to use it. However, I can't decide whether it's ok as it is or whether I need to adjust it. I think the colour is good but do I need to make the composition more interesting? In particular does it need something of interest in the lower left quadrant? If you'd care to comment I'd appreciate your thoughts on this.

Thanks :)




  • edited May 2017
    to me it looks fantastic image for painting....the feel of transparent water is reminiscent of one painting which Sargent did :

    Image result for john singer sargent water stream painting in oil
  • Thanks, for your thoughts, @Rauchetan. :)

    I'm glad you think the photo is OK and I'm so very glad you posted that picture by Sargent! It's beautiful and the technique is just what I had in mind. I'm hoping that the dark blue patches and the light blue and green stipples on the rocks beneath the water together with the ripples reflecting the sky on the surface will provide enough interest in the lower left quadrant.

    Thanks again for your thoughts.
  • edited May 2017
    It will be very interesting to see painting like this being developed... looking forward to it! :)
  • This is a very beautiful photograph. Just be careful about the shadows under the rocks on the left side. There value should at least be a step higher.
  • Beautiful photo, good composition!
  • I can't wait to see you paint this @tassieguy.   I'm not suggesting you do this but what if the bottom 1/3 was cut off?
  • edited May 2017
    Thanks, @rautchetan, @kaustav, and @Forgiveness.

    I, too, thought the picture was good but I struggle with composition and didn't want to get halfway through a painting as complex as this only to decide the comp didn't work. @Kaustav, your right about the differences in the shadows of the rocks. I count at least four values in those darks.

    Thanks for looking guys. :)
  • edited May 2017
    Thanks, Ronna.

    Your compositions are beautiful (your cherry painting for example) so I really value your thoughts.  Cropping the bottom third might work. But I kinda like the diagonal formed by the rock at lower right and the rocks at top left. I also like the shimmering effect of the light on the rocks beneath the water in that lower section. I'll think some more before deciding.

    Thanks for looking, @Ronna.  :)
  • I think its gorgeous, would make a beautiful painting! I wouldn't crop it
  • edited May 2017
    Thanks, @DawnTup. I'm inclined not to crop it for the reasons above and because I have a stretcher frame just the right dimensions for this photo. Then again, I don't want to get half way through it and have the awful realization that it doesn't work. I'll do some thumbnail sketches before deciding.

    Thanks for looking. :)
  • edited May 2017
    I love it, love the rocks and the color of the water. I would not crop since the bottom right pulls the eyes forward and seems to complete the picture (all water seems boring) the only thing I probably would not paint is the bush on the other rocks... although it's there I don't really care of it myself.
  • I had the same thought, @jswartzart. I might consider making it another rock instead of a bush.
  • But you don't need to make it another rock, just simply leave it out and carry on. It's a good composition!
  • Maybe it's an illusion, but the horizon line appears to dip slightly, right to left.  Great picture, though.
  • My first thought after seeing the photo and your question was: Oh hell YES! rocks visible under the water? What a challenge.
  • Great picture to model. Don't crop please. Unless you're painting on a very large support that can show a little detail in the distant mountains it might be advisable to leave them out and have a flat horizon. However, if this is a popular vantage point that locals and your countrymen will recognize, then you can't leave out the mountains. Great photo BTW. Nice comp and oh boy what a challenge to paint visible underwater features.
  • edited May 2017
    @tassieguy -   Well I have the perfect composition in mind for this scene.... <3

    Add a kayak just above center line a third over from my left as I look at the screen, (dragged up into the shade for the picnic basket's sake), and paint ME in at the end of the peninsula, looking out to sea, maybe with a fishing pole in one hand and a stringer of fish in the other.... I have long dark hair, well... you would not see the few grays from that distance, lol! OH and I prefer red for my kayak, the sit-on-top kind. Add a little campfire for cooking the catch of the day, and it will be perfect as can be.

    A heavenly happy place fantasy break.... Oh how I would love to be there right now! :3
  • Me Too. I'm bald so I'd be easier to paint. What's in the basket @NanaBean?
  • looks very nice Rob, I'm sure it will be very nice when you get done. ... I played with it a bit. hope you don't mind. I won't keep it. Asked myself: "what would it look like if I did this to it?" So I cropped it. I call it "Rhino on the Rock". can't help seeing that in the rock on the left!

  • Mo problem, @some. If it were my photo I'd say go ahead and use it.  I think I can see the rhino.
  • Terrific photo @tassieguy and a great challenge. By the time you add all those beautiful water reflections in the BL quadrant it will complete the triangle and sweep the eye right around - so I don't think you need to add anything extra in there at all. I would consider straightening the horizon though.  
  • That's a lot of blue....
  • edited May 2017
    Do you think there's just too much blue, @MeganS?    

    There is a lot but there are many different shades of blue there. Maybe they don't show up so well on some monitors.   I was concerned I would not be able to mix them all without pthalo (which I don't have) so I did a test run at mixing and found that I can match them all with UM, plus a little viridian, prussian and cerulean. I was thinking of emphasizing the clouds a bit more and making sure that the pink grey sky on the horizon comes across and also slightly heightening/warming some of the colours visible beneath the water as in the Sargent example above. Hopefully all this will counter/complement the overwhelming blueness but not kill it.

    (BTW, I will make the horizon level. Thanks to those who pointed it out.)
  • @tassieguy put an orange boat, a red clothed figures, throw some red and yellow underneath the water here and there. This will get rid of too much blue.
  • I think if you only had UM you wouldn't be able to hit all those blues. Luckily you have the others!
  • Thank you @Kaustav and @Richard@Kaustav, where would you put a red boat in this picture?
  • Thanks, @Kaustav, that might work. I'd need to find a picture of a boat ... or just invent it.
  • I think you can adjust brightness or color balance, it will make the photo become more beautiful.
    driving directions home
    driving directions
  • @tassieguy, are you going forward with this painting. I know you're working from a screen shot but if there's any chance for you to visit this spot and do some of your oil sketches plein aire I would jump at the chance. Good Luck.
  • @tassieguy ;  I think the picture is very interesting and you will make something beautiful out of it... as ever...
  • edited May 2017
    Thanks, folks.

    @BOB73, I've printed the photo and have already started work on the painting. It's 34" X 20". It will take at least another week before I get to the point where it will be worth posting. I'm still not even sure it's going to work but I'll give it my best shot. I was worried about how to paint the water so I did a little test painting of a section of it on a small piece of cardboard. It worked ok and I think I can make the water look like water in the full sized picture.

    @Esther, glad you think the photo is ok. And thank you for your confidence in my abilities. I know for sure that if anyone could make something beautiful of this photo it would be you. :)
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