From the rejected image pile

edited December 2022 in General Discussion
Nearly finished my current painting and thinking about the next. I was pleased to hear Ian Roberts say that maybe 1 in 100 photos he takes are suitable for painting. I'm probably worse - I know i feel something but I can't squeeze it into the camera. Yet sometimes we can rescue them with some changes.
Here's one from my rejected pile. There was something here I loved but I couldn't quite find it. It's already a composite and I can move figures around like the little girl (I have to work out perspective if I move her forwards or backwards. I'm not happy with it so tough critiques are welcome, including, don't bother. Mount Martha beach.
I'm trying to understand what attracted me. The summery 'beachiness'. The radial pull of the undulations and the woven shapes into the distance. I wanted big. Probably the colours are a little under their full colour but Victoria is not vivid like the north. I love Jan Hendrik Dolsma's work but he's from cold Netherlands with big skies to hang great clouds. Here we are engaged beneath the sky.
Why I didn't like it. I don't know, it just doesn't quite have strong enough centre of interest. I moved the girl to use her line of sight but the figures are tiny. It just doesn't quite grab me.

Comments

  • Just moved the girl over so she's headed more towards the end of the cliff to emphasise that angle and open up the centre. Anyway, just playing and need to get back to work.
    tassieguyadridriA_Time_To_Paint
  • edited December 2022
    I think it's a great photo, @Abstraction.  I would paint this.  The big picture - the overall composition - is wonderful. I love the ripples in the sand - their perspective pulls you into the picture.  And I love the reflections of the figures in the shallow water. The little girl works for me in either position. The center of interest is diffuse - there are points of interest along the way, but everything leads to where the man with the boat is beneath the point of land where it meets the sea.

    I love it. It would work best big. I hope you paint this.  :)
    Abstraction
  • There’s a lot of interesting figures and activities but you would have to paint this really big so the viewer could get a good view of each group of figures snd activity.  
    Abstraction
  • Yes, it would be big. And then I'd be wearing my magnifying headset for those figures. I pulled it out for my portrait and suddenly saw things - I'm glad I checked. Eyesight not what it once was.
    On moving that girl backwards and forwards and maintaining perspective - I guarantee I'm the only student here of the quiet genius of Mural Joe (I learnt so much about waves from him):
    Halves & doubles "Every time something doubles in distance, it halves in size visually. Every time you go halfway from object to Horizon, it is precisely half the distance it was, therefore half the size." <=tell me that's not brilliance in simplicity. I didn't know that.
    GTOtassieguyA_Time_To_Paintwhunt
  • @Abstraction:)

    Composition aside, you are a master - in my appreciation - of seeing through water and painting both the volume and what sits beneath. On this occasion, I think those sand ripples would either send you mad or drive you into a coma. Also, and to be honest, I'm a little jealous of the quality of light you southern hemispherical folk have to hand.  ;)

    Kind rgds, Duncan
    adridriAbstractionjoydeschenes
  • I agree with crop above, the little girl deserves some more attention if made the main figure of the painting. She's a great center of interest.
  • That's a great crop @Richard_P. I tried cropping before I moved her and didn't like it as I had lost the expansiveness. (I might have to swap the people on the right for the people further right - since that's my wife and the girls. But composition first.) You've given a very good option - it's far more intimate and pulls the design features together.
    @moleman Thank you for your very kind comments. Yes, those sand ripples. In a 1970s Mad Magazine satire of Easy Rider someone said (something like), "If we go over this at 130mph we'll find it, man."
    "Find what?"
    "Either Idaho or God."
    And on Australian light, I'm sure this is not news to you - you are well versed, but the early paintings in Australia from Europeans weren't able to express this light. Until along came the Heidelberg school of Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin, Arthur Streeton, E Phillips Fox, Charles Condor... and these works from quite a narrow few years are iconic for Australians.
    Richard_PMoleMan
  • That closer crop works well. But I kind of miss the expansiveness of the wider shot with the bigger sky. To my mind, it's primarily a landscape with figures. The figures add interest and provide scale to the landscape. But that's just me. The figures might be of more importance to you - you might want to make it a family shot in which the figures are recognizable. In which case you'll have to make it really big or zoom in as per the above crop.
    Abstraction
  • Thanks @tassieguy. That's precisely what I was wrestling with. I wondered if someone would express it. The cropped version could be a small (or large) painting as the composition is intimate and balanced. The people are the subject.
    The uncropped version, the landscape is the star, the people dwarfed and enjoying open space. Big, open beach. Immense distance stretching out. As you and @GTO expressed, it needs a big canvas to tell the tale.
    I will say though, @Richard_P your eye for that crop left me in awe. I have time to live with both options and decide. As a kid we lived right on Port Phillip Bay and I had a 'skiffle' board. Usually a round piece of ply. You'd toss it ahead then run, jump on it and 'surf' it as it skimmed across the shallowest film of water just above the sand like this.
    Richard_P
  • ...  "If we go over this at 130mph we'll find it, man."

    "Find what?"

    "Either Idaho or God."  ...
     =)

    Very good.  :)
    And thank you for sharing to here your new project idea and your early thinking. Best suggestion I can offer is to just slap its arse and ride-in on the ripples. I'm quite certain that whatever you decide, you'll paint it very well.
    Abstraction
  • You could do both, @Abstraction. I think there's more than one painting in that photo. :)
    AbstractionA_Time_To_Paint
  • That's a wonderful photograph.  The vastness, the brilliant blue sky, ocean, ripples, and the little girl...I like @Richard_P's crop but like @tassieguy said you could get more than one painting with this photograph.  I love the reflection of the little girl in the water and the softness of the beach backed with the roughness of the hill in the background.  The feeling for me is a wonderful day at the beach, enjoying the sunshine, cool water, and just being outside.
    Abstraction
  • Even more radical then! ;)


    Abstractionwhunt
  • Yes, I think if you were going to zoom in on the figures that crop works better, @Richard_P.  There's more sky so we still get a feel for the expansiveness of the landscape. I love the way the sky goes from a deep azure to a paler, greyer blue towards the horizon. And I love the small details like the gulls and the reflections of the figures.  And, of course, the ripples in the sand that merge with the blue of the film of shallow water at the center. This would be a delight to paint.  :)
  • edited December 2022
    I zoomed in on the photo @Abstraction posted and even with the small web pic posted I can see that there is plenty of data to make this into big painting. The actual photo would be a much bigger file and have more detail than what we can see in this web pic so, @Abstraction, make it BIG!  :)
    Abstraction
  • Just moved the girl over so she's headed more towards the end of the cliff to emphasise that angle and open up the centre. Anyway, just playing and need to get back to work.
    I'm no artist, but after reading Ian Robert's book and having watched his videos I can imagine him doing the following:

    -Sketching the entire scene in terms of value masses.

    -Commenting on the strength of the horizontal land/cliff and the sea, and the bits in the top half... the zigzagging shore the little left sandbar and the big right hand sand bar...

    -Perhaps he might start pulling the diagonal zig zag of water and sand bar near the shore more vertical down and to the right a bit

    -To introduce more structure in the center - right, he might play around with either a new sand bar (very light warm value) starting in the bottom right or center leading up and ending before the reflecting sky,or perhaps a variation in the depth of water (darker and cooler) echoing the undulations...  or he might just say there is already good structure squished in the top half, he'll just redo it by bringing it all down and giving it a shape which is strong and leads the eye around...

     :) 

    Good luck!


    Abstraction
  • Goosed the saturation to enhance the "summer" feel, positioned child's head near the golden ratio location (vert and horiz) and cropped to reduce the amount of sand that needs to be painted.


    Abstraction
  • So many good options, I could sell one of these each year for the next few years down here on the Peninsula. That might be a bit repetitive, but it shows all the perspectives hidden in an image. Last day at work today - massive project to finish - made a mistake coming in here. =) Too many good suggestions and need to go back to work. I'll come back and explore a little more. I like both those options @PaulB & @Richard_P. I'm still inclined to do the big painting first but plenty of time to decide.
    tassieguy
  • That's a great crop @Richard_P. I tried cropping before I moved her and didn't like it as I had lost the expansiveness. (I might have to swap the people on the right for the people further right - since that's my wife and the girls. But composition first.) You've given a very good option - it's far more intimate and pulls the design features together.
    @moleman Thank you for your very kind comments. Yes, those sand ripples. In a 1970s Mad Magazine satire of Easy Rider someone said (something like), "If we go over this at 130mph we'll find it, man."
    "Find what?"
    "Either Idaho or God."
    And on Australian light, I'm sure this is not news to you - you are well versed, but the early paintings in Australia from Europeans weren't able to express this light. Until along came the Heidelberg school of Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin, Arthur Streeton, E Phillips Fox, Charles Condor... and these works from quite a narrow few years are iconic for Australians.
     
    Well, that was a journey-and-a-half, @Abstraction. A happily pleasing one though, and refreshingly informative.
     
    The Heidelberg School: outside knowing your own context I'd have guessed loosely it was a reference to something somewhere in one of the Germanic regions – or at a pinch perhaps South Africa. No, apparently it refers to a movement born in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. In terms of clarity of description, I think it is a bit unfortunate that some commentators tag it as Impressionism. It isn't – it is something rather more honest and perhaps nearer to realism. Northern Europeans don't get that natively – we have to wade painfully and up to our knees through the mud and the treacle of our history and inherited cultures. And the light is poor, most of the time.
     
    Of those painters that you kindly pointed toward, clearly most had produced astounding representations of what was around them. Among those, the only (possibly) tortured soul that I can identify is Fred McCubbin – a very competent painter evidently, but he doesn't seem to have been quite fully in the same game as the Heidelberg gang. That's not a difficulty; perhaps he was welcomed as a distant cousin – or perhaps he was generous and could be relied on to buy the first round of drinks when the group met together in a pub. Whatever, I have a feeling that as a painter he was reluctant—or perhaps unable—to wash his roots clean of impedimenta.
     
    Took two or three hours to plough the surface of it, and it was worth it – and thank you.  :)
     
    Kind rgds, Duncan
     
    (The 130mph thing was excellent =))
    Abstraction
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