Sunset scene 18x24 revisited

I'm calling this finished for now.  To be honest, I'm sick of looking at it.  I don't like the high chroma and could probably use some purple glazing to tone it down.  It "looked good on paper" but just isn't what I was hoping for.  This was a painting started last year that I put aside because it just wasn't working.  At that time, there was a rowed field in the foreground and I was trying to put in a church building and no matter what I did, it just did not look right at all.  Me thinks I hate this one.  Critiques are always welcome.  

Got twelve 8x10 inch canvas boards that need priming and there are so many other paintings to get to.  The planning stages are all done, photos ready after any editing, and will use my laptop screen to get colors as accurate as possible.  

Thanks all for looking and any comments.  



  • @A_Time_To_Paint, you are perhaps being a bit hard on yourself here. There is something about this that I really like.  Firstly, it has a very Munch feel to it. Secondly, the colours are beautiful and, thirdly, the patches of blue, green, grey and gold form a rhythmic, undulating pattern that works as an evening landscape and as a purely abstract painting. I love it!  :)
  • It's not bad at all.  Good job on the composition and foreground details.  Chroma is a bit high, yeah.  
  • Thanks @KingstonFineArt.  It is probably not that difficult, I just don't have the will to continue to fight with it right now.  I believe I can address it later after taking a vacation from it.  Thank you Suez, I actually had thought about taking those blue streaks out.  Compositionally, it does lead the eye from the sky and from the water into the painting but probably would be just fine without it.  Thanks @tassieguy for your very generous comments.  You have encouraged me to not just put this one aside forever and motivated me to address it sometime in the future.  You made me look up Much BTW.  Thank you @Gary_Heath, it kind of makes my eyes bleed with that high chroma but realize it can be fixed.  I'll probably change it later after letting my eyes recover LOL! 
  • edited October 9
    @A_Time_To_Paint, I'm glad you looked up Munch. He was a very great expressionist and symbolist painter. He used almost flat masses of color and repeated or echoed shapes in his composition that sets up a sort of Rythm similar to that in your landscape. He used this to very powerful emotional effect in his most famous painting, The Scream

    I think you landscape has the same sort of power. I find it compelling. You are right not to discard it. Treasure it instead.
  • Thanks @Suez for the video.  He really is amazing.  Yeah, blue and orange in the right shades should work well.  Thanks again!!
  • Hi. I agree with Tassieguy, I think this is a great piece.
    I wondered if you were looking for the golden sunset to glow? Because at the moment it's competing with everything else. Of course what I've done here may not be what you're aiming for or match your source image, it's just for another perspective and the way I think.
    But you've captured a glorious sunset and I just thought we might feel the glow more by pulling back the values elsewhere and create more of a dusk feel. So I put it in photoshop and darkened everything somewhat except the gold in the sky and the very background section of water.
    I then further darkened the lower section of the trees behind the grass (because they are shielded from the direction of light but the tops would be lit) and their reflection in the water. I particularly darkened the reeds in the foreground because to me they draw the eye and create a barrier. When dark we naturally look past them. You could pick out the tops of a few and their long shadows across the others possibly?
    I further darkened selected parts of the grass, eg, in front of the trees that are blocking the light, leaving sections a little brighter to show where the golden light is hitting. And yes, even the blue of the sky is also a little deeper as we move up because light is draining and this then makes the gold explode. It tells us the sun is the centre of action. The gold reflection in the foreground is also darkened because as the water comes towards us the angle of the sun is reduced and this changes the reflection to show more of the colour of the water (which is darkish at this time of day). A photo may or may not show this effect depending on exposure. I spent so long studying water for my last two paintings to understand what light does in water. Still learning.
    Apologies if it's not what you're wanting at all and maybe you think I've made it more drab? It only took moments in photoshop - it would take a bit longer with paint!!
  • Thank you @abstraction for taking the time you have in putting this painting through photoshop and for your comments about what you did with the image.  I like what you have done.  It does have more of a dusky feel to it.  At this point, I believe the sun should be the focal point and its reflection in the water.  I'm thinking about darkening the clouds using purple/blue glazes that are further away from the sun.  Maybe even simplifying the clouds more and making them less prominent.  I really like the more silhouetted appearance of the foreground grass and trees and the grass in the midground.   You've given me lots to think about and will revisit this one.  Again, really appreciate the time you have taken on this and the advice.
  • After using some purple glazing and getting the best photo possible (it's really early in the morning, taking advantage of some quiet time), I'm starting to like this much better.  It is looking more like some of the sunsets here in the mountains with a tinge of pink mixed in with that strong orange tone.  I even carried it into the rest of the painting into the trees, grass, and the foreground resulted in something I wasn't expecting (happy accident?).  There are now more gold tones in the foreground grasses.  Comments always welcome.

  • Woohoo! Love it!  Proud of you for putting in even more work.  The foreground is really impressive too.
  • It's a really rich colour. I love the tinges atop the foreground grasses and those trees have stepped back to allow the light to dominate. On zooming in it enhances that sense of vast distance created by those trees stretching back behind them around the rim of the lake drawing the eye into that tranquil distance around to the sun. I love that part of the painting.
  • edited November 1
    @A_Time_To_Paint, I think you have improved it but I am glad to see that you have retained the things in it that I found so appealing in the earlier version.  The simplification of the major forms - the clumps of trees, the grassy banks, the clouds and the reflections of all of these on the lake surface - is very appealing. And the elongated shapes of these forms echo each other and set up a softly undulating rhythm which I find enhances the nocturnal feel. And I love the colours. I think this is very much a keeper. Or enter it in an art show/competition. :)
  • Thank you @allforchrist.  I have an adopted motto from an artist friend who always says, "Never give up."  Then there is the quandary of when to put the brushes down LOL!  I'm glad you like it.  Thank you @Abstraction for taking the time to look at it on a larger scale.  I'm glad you like the background.  It does as you say add depth.  You are very kind @tassieguy and very encouraging.  I may just enter this piece in the spring art show at the local guild this next spring.   :)  
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