First attempt of placing figures into a landscape. Fishing with Opa.

I have only painted about two landscapes my entire life. They somehow are a lot more difficult for me to paint than painting a portrait. So to stretch myself, I did this painting. Like all of my paintings, I have really mixed feelings about it. But, my wife tells me that she showed it to a friend who so admired it that she started to cry when she saw it. Don't know what to say about that!?! Well your feed back is appreciated. Thanks. Ralph


  • Great composition, nice handling of color and a family treasure all in one - nicely done!

  • I know why your wife's friend cried. It's hard to get this kind of closeness and family bond that it makes it sad.. Admire and envy the bond and warmth.

    Or at least I felt that. It's nice :) having all these emotions. Never thought I could feel so much from a painting. :) thank you.
  • I'll give you some picky details and you can take them or throw them away. I do want to say that I really like the painting and I think the draping of the fabrics is excellent. Now here are my picky details, I think the edge of the path/road is too straight, trimmed for a country path= you could create more interest with the grass growing onto the dirt here and there, I think your short strokes to create the growing grass looks very realistic, but all of the grass being so very green doesn't look so real. Your tree line is great and this is very good painting. I don't feel comfortable even mentioning the picky stuff but I think those things would make it better.
  • This is super nice Ralph. The figures are really well painted I think. Has a really nice emotional feel to it. I think I agree with grandma about the path edge. But then again, I don't know what your reference photo looks like. Good job =D>
  • Very nice've captured 'one of those moments'. For me it brought back good times when my sons were that their 40's now. Time really get by. Thanks for sharing. :)
  • Thank you everyone. It was a special moment. Hopefully he will stay interested in fishing and one of the grand kids will get into painting as well.
    Grandma you are right about the grass growing over onto the sand. I thought of that when I was painting it and then totally forgot about it - so thanks for reminding me. Now I wondered how I missed that. :-? The grass is a little darker than it shows on the painting photo, but I'll work on that as well.
    Gary - how right you are about time flying.
  • Ralph no wonder your wifes friend shed a tear, this painting tells a human story. Great light, very well done!
  • The trees are exceptional! If I were to be super picky, I would agree with Grandma on the grass details. The painting hits just the right emotional chord, and is a very nice landscape. Well done!
  • To nitpick: the shadow of the fishing rod would not show the hoop in real life, because the sun is not a pinpoint source of light. With the distance of 2-3 feet between the rod and its shadow, the width of the sun as a light source throwing off overlapping light rays would result in a slight fuzziness in the shadow's edges, causing that fine detail to disappear.
  • This is touching and well done Ralph... the only thing I can add to other suggestions is to maybe soften (lighten) the shadows of the figures a tad while softening the edges.
  • Well thank you everyone. Your comments are appreciated.
    Hillyman - you made me stop and relook at the photo. So this is what I worked from - it was a very bright and sunny day and and so some edges and details were pretty sharp. I took some "artistic license" and converted the cement path to a sand path.
  • Ralph

    This back lighted photo is a great example of where cameras bleach the detail in the highlights and black out the shadows. Our eyes would compensate second by second as we attended to different parts of the scene. The camera just takes an average to handle the extremes and does neither end of the spectrum particularly well.

    Some of the better cameras do spot averaging, heavily weighted towards the center of the viewfinder. The general rule was to expose for the shadows and the highlights will take care of themselves.

    This is where the raw processing that Mark and David recommend can improve the image.

    In this case though it matters little as there is no worthwhile texture or detail in the shadows.


  • Ralph

    My mistake...based on my understanding of optics, but applied for the wrong distance! Nothing beats direct observation...
  • Ok, finally went back to this and made some adjustments based on previous advice. Think I will wrap this one up, as I feel I need more practice with landscapes.
  • Such a sweet painting. Reminds me of my husband when he took our sons fishing.
  • What a great way to capture such a wonderful moment!
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