Forest Fern oil on panel 9" x 24"

edited April 2021 in Post Your Paintings
Here is something I did mainly as an exercise, but also because I liked the lighting effect.  I'm wondering how close I got (colour/value, the latter more important)?  Any and every critique welcome. Thanks for taking a look!







Ref. photo


dencalRoxytassieguyGTOArtGalHondoRWForgivenessBuckyDustin_CropsboyA_Time_To_PaintEJCcustomskaustavManweshaAlliecritterisfun

Comments

  • Great job of compensating for the photo limitations here @Gary_Heath
  • edited March 2021
    Looks good, @Gary_Heath.

    Many would have seen that background and run a mile. You made a fine job of it.

    The frond looks good, too - perhaps a slightly brighter yellow-green on it's top section. But that could be a problem with your camera. I can never get mine to accurately record colour in my paintings.   :)
  • I like what you’ve done with the background.  Looks better than the reference. The green in the reference is a bit more intense.  
  • Really good job all the way around I think. Agree with @Roxy’s comment about compensation for the photo limitation. 
  • edited March 2021
    @Roxy.  Thanks.  Obviously had to push the frond into the frame, and simplify the background somewhat. @tassieguy.  Thanks for your comment.  I was pleased with the way the background turned out. The photo of the painting is pretty accurate; the ref. photo is not as it is way pumped up.  Nonetheless, I've probably overdone it with white/yellow.  Beware of adding white says Mark Carder, and surely I know where he's coming from now.  @GTO Thanks.  I think what you say is correct even though the ref. photo is pumped up, and I need to adjust accordingly.  Tricky thing adjusting values at the final stage, you almost don't want to do it for fear of getting it wrong.  I'll do it though.  @HondoRW Thanks so much.
    tassieguy
  • edited April 2021
    Reworked this several times. Not convinced it's an improvement, but the values are more accurate compared to the print photo.  If anything, they could be a bit duller here and there. Gosh, values are the art!  Messing around, I lost some detail in the leaves, but again probably closer to the reference now.  It's hard for me to be objective, which is why I'm posting hoping for some feedback.  Thanks for looking, and comparing! (I just knocked down some of the highlights in the top leaves. I'll post another picture in a minute.)





    Marinos_88
  • Hello Gary!
    I personally liked the first attempt.
    I find my self overworking a painting to correct values or to get closer to what the reference image looks like and end up having the opposite effect. Sometimes it's maybe better to leave the painting as is and move on to the next one. And even better not to be so dependent on the reference photo since we're painting and we can modify painting to look even better compared to the reference photo.
    If i have a subject like that i prefer to mass in the main values and then add the small shifts in value. For example mass in the light green and then put the small dabs of dark green. All thought I'm not sure how you can achieve that with runny paint. Hope it makes sense.
    Good job on the background!
    Here's the photos next to each other

    Gary_Heathtassieguy
  • I appreciate the contrast in warm greens and cool greens. It draws eye in every which direction and finds new details hidden everywhere. Great job 👏🏻 
  • edited April 2021
    @jward Thanks.  The idea had some merit.  @Marinos_88 Thanks for the feedback.  I probably did overwork it.  I had a feeling this might happen, which is why I hesitated.  The "final" version below (I've since tidied the veins up a bit).  Interestingly, I did try your darks on top of the light mass method, but it didn't work for me.  I found that if you do it alla prima you get blending, and working dry the shapes don't look right.  Obviously, I don't have the skillset to pull it off.  Oh well, a good learning exercise.  Not afraid of a complex background now  :)  In the flesh, it doesn't look too bad--this photo underexposed.  Maybe I should have just left it after the first shot and moved on to the next painting, as you say, but then I wouldn't have learned so much looking at it objectively.  
    (Maybe I will try and put some darks back in again...phew)




    Marinos_88kaustavM
  • edited April 2021
    Time to call it a day--it's not getting any better  :/  This has been a trial in values.  Quite frustrating.  The frond is still too pumped up, but adjusting one area means adjusting all areas (of the frond) and I don't want to work on it anymore.



    tassieguyMichaelDkaustavM
  • I think you can call it finished, @Gary_Heath. You did a good job with a very difficult subject. The frond is great but I love the background most of all.  :)
    joydeschenes
  • @tassieguy Thanks for your kind words.  
  • You did well in tackling a difficult subject @Gary_Heath, the background is my favourite too.

    It sounds like you have become a little fed up with it, and we have all been there. As you mentioned though, it will have been a good learning exercise.

    So though it may not have turned out quite how you would have liked, you also mentioned that you are-not afraid of a complex background now.

    I’m about to go back to a piece that I worked on and had to leave for a while as I felt like I was going in circles.

    Its all good, and its all learning

     :) 
    tassieguyGary_Heath
  • That background is amazing 
  • edited July 2021
    @Reagan Thanks.  Funny you should say that because only this afternoon I decided to try and do a salvage job--I stripped the thick paint off the frond with a scraper and sanded it down.  The plan now is to block in with darks and then have another shot at the main subject.  The latter, I now realise, must be done alla prima after the darks have dried.  It is quite challenging but I saw a good one in a painting in one of my art books the other day, and I thought, "bloody hell why can't I do that?" Because I'm not trying hard enough presumably.  
  • Did you colour check against the photo when you did the previous attempt?
  • @Richard_P Thanks for the reminder, Richard.  I did colour check on the first attempt.  And the first attempt wasn't too bad.  It's when I started freelancing it all went horribly wrong!
  • So take your time, make sure the drawing is correct and then colour check everything.. :)
    Gary_Heath
  • I am not sure if it has been suggested, or would even be of help;  but would it be worth adjusting the reference photo to make it slightly less intense?
    It is a brave concept I have tried myself before and failed miserably.   Hats off to you to have done so well with it.  Looking forward to seeing your progress with it.
    Gary_Heath
  • I think if you have a phthalo green and a mid or green leaning yellow you should be able to hit those colours.
    Gary_Heath
  • edited July 2021
    Hi, Gary. I've been looking at the reference photo again and I think @Richard_P is right about the Phthalo green. I don't think I could match those greens without it.  I would also use Cadmium green along with Arylide yellow or Cadmium yellow light for the warmer, more yellow greens.

    The difficulty with the reference photo is that the brightest areas of the frond are a little over-exposed and blown out and so it's not possible to see much detail in that area. The best that could be done with this is to paint exactly what you see and not try to add detail that is not visible. If you match the colours , and especially the values, l it should look ok.
    Gary_Heath
  • edited July 2021
    Thanks for the suggestions.  The reference photo that you see is over-exposed; ditto the print photo.  It only looks correct on my mobile.  The colours are more subtle and yellow than intense--it really is magical in a way.  About specific colours, I don't have Phthalo green.  I used Veridian mixed with blue and Light Green mixed with Cadmium yellow.  It's the yellow-greens/transitions that are a problem.  Also, the leaves need to be sharp.  You can't re-work them or it becomes a mess--that's what I learned so far.  I guess I'll test colours beforehand, and practice a bit before committing to the stroke/s this time.  Your suggestions are definitely motivating, thank you again.
  • edited July 2021
    Gary, if you can't get Phthalo green then you can make a green very close to it with Phthalo blue and Cadmium yellow light or Arylide yellow.

    I agree with you about not re-working the brushstrokes in this. The ideal is to get exactly the right value and as close as possible to the colour for each stroke and then lay strokes of the correct size and shape in just the right place in a single action. And that is bloody hard to do. It's what I try for all the time but often don't succeed. The best I can do when I stuff up is to wipe it off and do it again. Pushing it around more with the brush just makes it worse. It's agony but when you get it right it's joy.  :)
    Gary_Heath
  • That's interesting Rob. I never wipe off, I always try to correct with more paint. I wonder how much of what we do we never question?
    Gary_Heath
  • Don’t take this wrong because this is truly a compliment! The first thing I noticed when my eyes made content with the picture of your painting was the background. Your branches and overall vibe of the background look really good! I’ve learned the painter is rarely happy with the final product. We are way to hard on ourselves! Nice job as you did a fine job!
    Gary_Heath
  • tassieguy said:
    Gary, if you can't get Phthalo green then you can make a green very close to it with Phthalo blue and Cadmium yellow light or Arylide yellow.

    I agree with you about not re-working the brushstrokes in this. The ideal is to get exactly the right value and as close as possible to the colour for each stroke and then lay strokes of the correct size and shape in just the right place in a single action. And that is bloody hard to do. It's what I try for all the time but often don't succeed. The best I can do when I stuff up is to wipe it off and do it again. Pushing it around more with the brush just makes it worse. It's agony but when you get it right it's joy.  :)
    @tassieguy I do this quite often when I'm not satisfied with an area. I scrape the paint and then re-work that area.
    @Gary_Heath you can leave this painting now and move to next with this painting's learning. After sometimes maybe a month later you may find the ways to work on the areas that you don't feel right about. Looking at your work reveals both good and bad things. Background is the best here.
    Gary_Heath
  • edited January 9
    So, I scrapped it and re-worked the fern frond and for better or worse have come to the end of this one now.  Thanks for all the previous comments; it was worth re-doing and I learned something in doing so.







    Bucky
  • edited January 9
    How do you delete a comment that was created accidentally?  There appears to be no delete option within the edit options.
  • @Gary_Heath . Just go to the comment, highlight it and hit delete. Same with any pictures attached to the comment. All the text and pictures will disappear but the empty comment box will still be there. That's the only way I know. 

    I think your new version of the fern frond works.  :)
    Gary_Heath
  • edited January 10

    I think your new version of the fern frond works.  :)
    Thanks.  It sort of works.  I think the form was the better the first time around, and I maybe should have stopped then.  This is probably the main lesson learned: stop :)  However, this version is perhaps a bit less "cluttered."  
  • I think both of them were very good, but I do feel that the second one is somewhat better.
  • Very nice @Gary_Heath I like the fern leaf a lot. I also think the bark on those two trees directly behind the leaf are superb. 
  • Now it looks very beautiful and realistic.
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