Pensacola - working on this, oil on canvas, suggestions welcome!


  • Looking great.  I love the brush and the dune.  The hidden sun is well painted.  Perhaps some more work on the wispy cirrus clouds?  

    The horizontal line of clouds as well as the dark sky (this dark seems too dark) right above doesn't quite work for me.  Not sure if others will be able to help with better composition there.  I suggest continuing the cirrus clouds downward in a natural way, paying attention to the spherical aspect of the sky.  
  • You have captured the sense of light and drama beautifully, the shadows on sand beautifully etched in abstractions. Beautiful composition and very moody delivery. I like the dark, I've seen skies like that and it lifts your light by contrast.
    If I was to consider anything, it might be:
    This is the sun bursting through stormy clouds. Along the top of that sandy ridge the sun is striking. I want to feel it.
    • I would lift the sand at the top of that ridge - warmer and brighter.
    • The sun is striking the back of that post. On the back of the post (and around slightly) on our rhs show us the light hitting.
    • The play of the shadows on the sand in foreground I would consider the same. There are subtle variations in the level of the sand (and therefore how directly the sun is hitting it. Very subtle brighter and warmer patch variations showing stronger sun.
    • I wonder whether the clouds towards distance should be less sharp to show the atmosphere hanging in the air.
    I can show you in photoshop if I'm not making sense.
  • Thank you for your comments, much appreciated and very helpful. I painted this from a photo rather quickly over 2 days and hit a wall as what to do next with it. I'm new to DMP, trying to apply the techniques that Mark teaches, specifically laying in values and limiting blending. I am not an educated/trained artist, but have painted sporadically for many years and blending paint and using white have been my go to. I am very glad that I have found this forum so I can get this feedback that is crucial if I am to improve. So thanks again for your comments. 
    It is a poor photo of the painting, I actually liked it better than the painting though :). I'll try to attach the photo I'm working from. 
  • I like this a lot, whunt. The sand, post  and grass are really well done.

    I think that if you made the sky like it is in the photo it would work even better. I would lighten the sky gradually towards the horizon and make the sky more like the colour in the photo.  Doing that would help soften the lower deck of clouds which is too bright and should have a slightly yellow/pink cast.  But overall it's a very appealing painting. Well done! :)

    If you wanted to make another version of this you could try loosing most of the cloud in the upper third of the picture so the focus is on the sand and sea.  :)
  • Thank you tassieguy, totally agree, the sky needs some work, I tend to over-dramatize color to much I think, its one of the things I need to work on for I see it now in many of my previous paintings, which I mostly did from imagination. Your response and suggestions are much appreciated!

  • I think the post should be lightened a bit in the same way you did the grass compared to the source photo. At the moment I feel it stands out a bit. I really like how you've done the sand!

    Well done!
  • Thank you Richard_P for your suggestion. Agreed, much appreciated. Back to the drawing board, as they say! Bill
  • Something I read in one of the other posts really stuck with me....It referred to study... I think for me, I need to really get back to the basics of study. I am fascinated with trees, skies, and landscapes in general. I think I will concentrate on one thing at a time, like trees - the shapes, shadows and movement of trees amazes me, sends me to a different place. 
  • It’s a beautiful painting.  I definitely got the feeling of standing on that sand.  
    The only observations I have is your painting has clouds in the distance that look like a storm is coming.  The photo shows more of a clear sky.  I like how you handled the grass.  The photo shows the grass too dark.  I like how you lightened them up. 
  • Thanks @GTO,
    I plan to get back to it. Lighten that part of the sky as you suggest, as well as the other suggestions that others were kind enough to send. It's such a simple painting compared to many of the ones on here, but practicing/learning in the process. Thanks for responding and commenting, much appreciated. 
  • Pensacola with some of the suggested changes. I think it is better now. Lightened the sky and increased feeling of distance/atmosphere. Lightened the post and added more detail. Also gave the sand a little more shadow. Thanks for your input, much appreciated. Bill
  • I like your improvements, @whunt. It has more depth now.  :)
  • Your changes work beautifully.  It has more space and a more uplifting feeling.
  • Thanks for your input, really helps. 
  • I like how you have done the different textures sand, grass, sea and sky.

    Lovely work @whunt

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