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Small landscape (Misty) 12" X 12" or 31cm X 31cm OOC

edited February 2018 in Post Your Paintings
This one is very small for me - 12" X 12".  I've been working on it slowly - a couple of hours each day over the last few days. It's the first I've started for about a month. I've had trouble getting back into it after a break. 

Anyway, there's five or six hours work here. I'm working from top left to bottom right so the upper left is near completion whilst the lower right is very unfinished. There are lots of pebbles and dead leaves along the side of the road at lower right that I have yet to put in and more work is needed on the road itself and the big tree at right. I imagine it would take me another three or four sessions (5 or 6 hours in all)  to finish this.

At this stage I'd appreciate some criticism. Keeping in mind that it's unfinished, Id like to ask folks if it's starting to look like something or whether it's all too grey and boring? Is the composition ok. What does or doesn't work? No need to be gentle - I have good ears but a thick skin.

Thanks for looking. :) 




  • I think it’s too early to say , Rob. 
    It could be at that inevitable stage where it doesn’t seem to be working , and you feel like giving up. Then suddenly it takes off and you know it’s worth pursuing. 
    I find this always happens midway or so through a painting , don’t you. 
    The thing is to find what appealed to you about the scene before you decided to paint it and then try bring that out in the painting. 
    The composition , to me , is fine but the colours are at this point a bit drab. 
    By the way , I know the feeling of trying to get motivated to paint after the break. 
    Torture !  :)

  • edited January 2018
    Thanks, @Hilary. I did question whether I ought to do this in monochrome because there was so little colour in reality that day and virtually none in the photo.  I guess I found  the soft misty look appealing. I'll muck around with it a bit more.  :)
  • Honestly, as it is right now I would hang it on my wall. I love how gray and misty it is right now. It looks to me like a misty rainy early morning. I think it looks cool in nature when you get that effect but you don't see it painted often because people can't get over feeling like they have to paint a tree green no matter how gray and dark it is outside. Fantastic value structure also. 
  • Thanks, @edavison. I'm glad that cool, damp, misty feel is coming across. That's what it's like down here in the forest in winter.  :)
  • Drab, gray and full of misty mystery. Just like a cold winter's morning in Tasmania. Which I'm guessing it is :)

    I think its captures the mood wonderfully. The sinuous composition with the snaking negative space between the trees on either side of the road continuing as the road itself is masterly, as is the glistening wetness of the road itself. Not to mention that post focal point, which somehow manages not to be distracting, but keeps the eye flitting backwards and forwards between itself and wherever that road is heading (Kettering perhaps?). Once you add a touch more detail/texture in the bottom RH corner I am sure this will be even more wonderful. It almost has a watercolour feel to it.    
  • edited January 2018
    Thanks, @Roxy.  It's in the hills between Woodbrdge and Cignet - just a few miles from here. I should have taken you up there when you were here. On a clear day there are wonderful views down into the Huon Valley.  Next time.  :)

    I'm pleased you think it has potential. Gives me the impetus to finish it. I can't believe how hard it's been to get back into painting again.  :/  

    Have you started that NZ landscape yet? That beautifully stark and simple scene with the tanks ... 
  • Definitely tassie in the winter
  • edited January 2018
    Lol. We do get the occasional sunny day down here between the start April and the end of November.  :)   And summer's nice but rarely sizzling like Sydney or Perth.  ;)
  • This is great in color, I believe the color is having a say in this composition, contributing a great deal to the feeling in the atmosphere, and I agree with Roxy on everything else as well.
  • edited January 2018
    Thanks, @Forgiveness. Glad you think it's working.  I was tempted to heighten the colour because I was worried it looked too drab but I'm hopeless at painting what I don't see.   :)
  • edited January 2018
    In this case this "drab/gray" is perfect from what I've observed of such scenes and walked through in life. And it is a challenge to paint because my tendency is to exaggerate, even in painting such a scene the temptation to push the color, where maybe this is an area to learn to pull off just right. I've tried capturing such scenes in other mediums including watercolor, "drab/gray" is very difficult to leave as "gray" when it is working well for the piece at hand. There is indeed beauty to be captured and expressed through such scenes and in paintings like this.
  • This looks done to me, I would stop now.  It's gray and atmospheric, and the composition is great.  Look at how the road sinuously snakes, and that motion lifts into the mist and cloud, continuing up.  There is a hint of warm brown in the mist around the curve, making me wonder what's there.

    Whatever ends up in the bottom right space is hopefully almost the same value as the dark patch that is there now.

    Very nice.
  • edited January 2018
    Thanks, @PaulB. Yes, it will remain dark in that lower right corner. The dead leaves and pebbles that are yet to go in will be just half a step up in value and slightly warmer in colour. Just to add a little interest down there.  :)
  • I really love the melancholic mood of this landscape, great work!
  • The foggy part is excellent. I'm looking forward to what suggestions of detail in the foreground you might add. BTW the fog/mist doesn't seem foreboding it's more like a place you'd expect to see the avid (die-hard) joggers. Almost inviting (warm colors?).
  • I like the atmosphere! A change from your normal sunny scenes, but good for you to do different things :)
  • tassieguy said:
    Have you started that NZ landscape yet? That beautifully stark and simple scene with the tanks  
    Not yet. I'm about to go away for a couple of weeks, but will re-prime the canvas this weekend so I can make a start when I get back. That's the plan anyway.
  • I love the mood it conveys.  It’s like abyss and rapture without the haunting ambiguity.
  • Looking good, Rob. To give it more depth I would increase the contrast in the foreground, & use slightly warmer colors. All that fades to cool bluish greys as the scene recedes into the mist/fog, but upfront, the viewer would see more detail & color. Not a lot, but some. 
  • Thanks, @movealonghome, @sonnystrauss and @Martin_J_Crane.
    Martin, yes, I agree and that's what I'll do next.  :)
  • country roads,...very nice sir well done @tassieguy
  • So beautiful! I have nothing to add. So intriguing...
  • Don't do anything other than sign it.  It's lovely.  It's dark, mysterious, we don't know where it is, or where it's going, or why we're standing there.
  • Thanks, @PaulB. I'll leave it now and start another.  A beach scene.  :)
  • I find the white of the pole a bit too bright, it's pulling my eye away from the turn in the road. Maybe darken it a bit? Not sure..
  • Thanks, @Richard. I'll try bringing it down a step. 
  • It reminds me of a painting by Monet. 
    Very misty and atmospheric. I like whatever you’ve done to it , especially the very soft green on the right foreground.  
    I agree with Richard about the pole because it’s too much of a draw at the moment and is the focal point which you don’t want. 
    So glad to see you’re back at your easel where you belong.  :)

  • edited February 2018
    Thanks, @Hilary. This is a good example of where sticking too closely to the reference photo can blind our aesthetic judgememt. I did have that post a little darker but then noticed it was brighter in the photo than in my painting so, without thinking,  I brought it up in value. I should have left it darker.  This is also a good example of the help to be had from fresh eyes and what makes this place so valuable.

    It shouldn't be too hard to bring the post back down in value.

    Thanks for looking and commenting .  :)
  • @tassieguy, don't do any more work on it. I love the misty soft feel. I also love the darks in the right hand bottom corner, adding detail would be a distraction and keep the eye from following the path. Beautiful.
  • cadiacadia -
    edited February 2018
    Love it! Call it
     "Tonalism" and it's done!
  • edited February 2018
  • The painting is great. I agree about the post but I'm only a perfectionist when it comes to others' paintings if it were mine I''d be very happy with it and call it finished as is. The important thing is you are painting again. Can I take that as a sign of recovery? I hope this is true.
  • Thanks, @BOB73
    I'm feeling better. Still a little concerned about the upcoming procedure on the carotid but painting takes my mind off things. :)

  • Glad you are feeling better albeit apprehensive. Recent tests (ct scan and ultrasound) revealed I have tumors in my liver and an anuerysm in my aorta. They are all very small and believed to be benign but it doesn't stop me from worrying. Nothing to do but monitor them more frequently. I'm hoping this challenge will keep MY mind off them too. Good Luck, hope you don't have to wait too long to have it done.

  • Sorry to hear that @BOB73 . I'm sure painting will help you to not think too much. Also I'm waiting (with half of the forum) for ur first painting here for the Sargent contest :)
  • @BOB73 I got BP and cholesterol high at 36. My wife took me to Jaipur to ease the work pressure and depression. Diverting the mind does wonders! I know the problems will take some time to resolve but a lot of things are possible when we take care of ourselves. When mind is restless paint a very beautiful thing; give your best. It's all that matters. Don't worry. Everything is fine. This forum is here.
  • Oh Bob, sorry to hear that! Best wishes to you and your family..
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