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Landscape WIP - 34" X 16" - OOC - Title: Where Snug Creek Meets the Channel.

edited September 2018 in Post Your Paintings
I've been working on this for a few days. It's been much quicker than usual with me because it's smaller and not as "up close" as my big tree pictures, so less detail.  I'm trying to be more impressionistic and not so wedded to the photo. I've not tried to paint every leaf or blade of grass. There's still a lot to do on it - almost the whole right hand third is still just the stained canvas. I may have to go over the entire thing because I'm thinking there's too much contrast - the darks look to dark to me. And perhaps the chroma in the bright areas is too intense. How does it look to you?  I've just blocked in the sky which will be repainted and I will include at the top a band of high wispy cloud at a shallow angle dipping left to right. I usually avoid painting water - I'm put off by the thousands of ripples and subtle value shifts. But I wanted to practice it so I could get over my fear of painting it.

Anyway, as usual, let me know what you think is and isn't working and, if you feel inclined, make suggestions for improvements.  Will post an update when finished.

Thanks for looking.  :) 




  • Great! Beautiful and partially classical too! :o
  • Oh my goodness Rob this is exquisite.  From the photo there doesn't seem to be too much contrast to me. To be honest once you finish the RHS I would re-assess, but I reckon it would be done and you could send it straight to me the gallery. Is this the view from the other side of the road from your white bridge painting?
  • Thanks, @Kaustav. I'm glad you noticed the classical element - I'm after a calm, stable (classical) composition with the sort of colour and light of the Babizon school. Don't know if I'll achieve it. Just have to keep learning and trying.  :)
  • edited September 2018
    Hi, @Roxy. Thanks. You got it - it's that exact spot. Glad you think it's working.  :)
  • This is exquisite. The abstraction is incredible. The water is incredible line with everything. I can't wait for the result.
  • That’s all working really well.  Love those clouds, they are perfect.  Water is good.  I feel the tree line on the left has more purple than I would want, but that could be the photo.  Or it could be me.
  • edited September 2018
    Thanks, @PaulB. Yes, the tree line on the hill at left needs to be brought up in value and greyed. I decided to leave it until I got the canvas covered then go back and adjust that and other details such as subtle changes in the colour of the water.
    Boy, water can be a bitch paint! That's one reason I admired your little boat picture so much. If the water were completely flat it would be easy but you've  got the actual colour of the water itself, the colour of the bottom in the shallows, the shadows and reflections of trees and other objects near it or on it, such as boats, and then the reflections of the sky colour thown up at 45 degrees by the ripples. It could send a bloke nuts!!  :) :/  :) =)   :s  :#   ;)
  • Yes, water is a bugger to get right.  It seems to me that three colors are just not enough.  What frustrates me is that some of the colors have smooth edges and some need ragged.   I too am struggling right now with water.

    When I start with sky and water, it’s all there is on the panel to look at, so it naturally becomes a temporary focus, and I fuss over it.  Adding objects and scenery pushes the water and sky into background where it belongs.  I’m hoping for that.

    My problem is making the brushstrokes small enough to be subtle, combined with this drying with odd color shifts.  I’m going to let it all dry, oil out and then assess.
  • edited September 2018
    OMG! It looks fabulous to me, @PaulB. But yes, the boat and land, once painted,  will push the water and the sky back and so create pictorial depth. I'd leave further detail in the water until then.  :)
  • Beautiful. The composition is very good ,leading the eye through the picture.
  • WOW, Wow, wow. You guys complaining about painting water is like a lottery winner complaining he doesn't have enough pockets to stash his cash. This is terrific (both of you). Rob, the only thing I see  is the mast on that boat looks a little too tall (by two or three yards) and can be mistaken for a land based broadcast tower. It's even a little distracting. Unless the boat is much closer than it appears.
  • Looks really good Rob. I like the abstracted nature of some of the trees. I actually like the purplish colour as well.

    Maybe you could add small highlights of white in the water with a small rigger brush if they were there in reality/photos :)
  • If you guys are serious about the water difficulty check out Mark Waller, if you haven’t already. He works in acrylic but has lots of tutorials about painting water- it’s his “thing”
  • edited September 2018
    Thanks , @Bobitaly, @Boudicca, @BOB73 and @Richard_P for your kind comments and suggestions.

    @Boudicca, I'll definately take a look at those videos as I seriously want to paint water well.   :)
  • Looks good to me. This is probably obvious to everyone by now but this painting reminded me again that if you get the values right it really doesn't matter how impressionistic it is it will still look good. Have you considered trying a really impressionistic painting.. Checking the values then just laying in giant thick strokes? 

    Anyhow I do like the orangey red bits in this one. Nice colour groups overall.. Doesn't look overly contrasty although going with less contrast would look good too in a different way
  • edited September 2018
    Thanks, @CJD.  Yes, in my smaller pictures I'm going to really try to be more impressionistic and use thicker paint and more expressive brushwork.   :)

    (You're absolutely right about the importance of values. You can can dicker with form and colour but if the values don't read right the realism will be compromised)
  • What a beautiful picture, photos can’t do any justice, would love to walk up on this one. 
    Thanks for posting Rob. 
  • Beautiful scene, masterfully done.
  • Still another couple of days work to do on this WIP but felt I needed feedback so here's an update. 

    Sorry about the glare on the hill behind the boat - I took the photo outside but couldn't get rid of the glare on that hill which was still wet having just been glazed to reduce it's chroma. I'm new to glazing but I think I'm going to like it and use it in future to make adjustments. 

    So, I got the canvas more or less covered. The water in the foreground and the sky are not yet complete. Apart from my concern that it may be a bit "chocolate boxy", I'm wondering how much more, if any, detail I should go for. I began with the idea of making it fairly impressionistic and haven't tried to paint every leaf and blade of grass. Do the trees and grass read ok? Would more detail help or hinder? Is there anything else folks think isn't working?

    All comments and suggestions welcome.

    Thanks for looking. :) 


  • edited September 2018
    Thanks to @MikeDerby and to @jeff for you kind words on the first draft.  :)
  • You might add a few more thin leaves in the brown grass. Apart from that it looks good enough to be done to me :)
  • Thanks, @Richard_P. I'll try to find room for the leaves.  :)
  • They do not only read well, they took a degree as well! This painting for me it is done. I envy your ability to make abstract leaves. Everything is beautiful and balanced.
    Only little little thing. In the left side of the boat near the same line, there are few brushstrokes more big (like big waves). Making them more thin could help the perspective and the sea to be more calm and quiet.
  • I am referring to this..but I can be wrong. Maybe wait for another opinion. Don't want to ruin your beautiful opera.
  • Thanks, @Bobitaly. I hadn't noticed that and I'm glad you brought it to my attention. What I was trying to put across there was the change in depth - there's a sandbar between the boat and the shore but I can see how it could read as a wave. I'll think about how it might be adjusted.  :)
  • It's tremendous. Both the execution and the quality. And Paul I like your water.
  • I wish I could afford it.  I think one day you will be collected and shown in museums.
  • edited September 2018
    @MikeDerby, thanks so much.

    I have a dream ... Alas, I think I may have left my run too late. But to be hung in a museum. That would be something. A sort of immortality for the childless artist. And better than being hung anywhere else such as from a tree or a prison gallows. (Thought I'd get  in ahead of @BOB73 with that one)  :)
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    edited September 2018
    It all reads right. I would be inclined to break up these three long lines to eliminate the pattern.  I see you already did this in the latest update, I might do it a bit more.


    Lovely work.
  • edited September 2018
    Cheers, @PaulB . Will do. Thanks for looking closely.   :)
  • Your works are definitely candidates for a museum. When they're that good, they aren't hung, they are displayed. Mine will be displayed too... at the thrift store.
  • edited September 2018
    Thanks, @BOB73. Very kind.
    But I'm sure you are being overly modest. Anyone who writes as well as you has an artistic bent and could surely also paint beautifully. When will your basement be done!?  :)
  • BOB73BOB73 -
    edited September 2018
    No basements around here, digging three feet down will find yourself knee deep in water or maybe oil. But my studio space keeps getting cluttered by my daughters clothes, furniture and junk. I'm frustrated beyond words. Even their childhood toys and dolls are in here. There's barely enough room for a cup of coffee next to the keyboard and when I eat, I have to open the desk drawer to set my plate down. Their used to be a TV show called hoarders. People who live in piles of over-accumulated stuff. I feel like I'm to that point now.
  • edited September 2018
    Can't you just leave home? Sounds like that would be the easiest way to move forward.  :)
  • @tassieguy   this is stunning!  Beautiful.  I especially love the bones of the painting, the structure - very well thought out - all those diagonals converging - beautiful composition.
  • BOB73 said:
    There's barely enough room for a cup of coffee next to the keyboard and when I eat, I have to open the desk drawer to set my plate down.
    Plein air work is independent of available space at home.
  • Believe me I've thought about it but it's paid for and the taxes are less than 1.5G a year.
  • Can't you turn one of your large hats into a studio? :)
  • Thanks, @Julianna

    Glad you (and Kaustav) noticed the classicism behind the composition. It doesn't conform precisely to the golden mean or the rule of thirds (more like the rule of 13 and three quarters) but I felt it all balanced. :)
  • @Richard_P, I would but I'm not a rabbit. @PaulB that would be a great solution but I'm afraid someone like you will notice all the bugs stuck in the paint and the other critter foot prints.
  • It's not so much a space problem as having the space where it doesn't obstruct someone's path to what they want. There's a couch in here that is used for sorting laundry etc.etc.
  • Tell here to use the laundry or her room for sorting clothes. Otherwise you might have to wait until she leaves home.
  • brilliant  painting...I remember years ago I went to a showing of Students of Glasgow School of Art, art works, well the critics were there with their glass of wine and lump of cheese, I listened to them giving each other their opinions   on this artist and that artist and I thought !, I wonder how many of them have the experience to judge,  just a thought.....
  • You can fix it. Hire one of those space people. If you really create a project out of it and think it through you can probably change how you use the space.
  • BTW Rob.. I found this pic of a gumtree in my facebook feed and thought of you:

  • O Happy Day.  I love signing on after being away and seeing a new painting by you Rob.
  • Thanks, @Ronna:) 

    Cheers, @Richard_P.  Yes, that's what many of our trees look like - very colourful with patterned bark and twisted limbs. The one in your photo looks like a snow gum or a S.E. Asian species called a rainbow gum. 
  • I absolutely love this painting. Your looseness in the underbrush is brilliant. I do feel the purple in the water doesn't complement the sky exactly. Lots of input into the reflections as you all discussed. In my recent trip to Maine I tried to paint water with very little success. I also love the format and have been wanting to paint one like this. Gorgeous!
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