Here is the first one now
This is an ambitious and complex painting. It reminds me of Hudson River school painting. Nice job! I never reveal who the artist is in these crits, but you know who you are.Here are some things that could be done to help this painting along a little.
The first problem I see with this piece is that the lights and the shadows are inconsistent. Look at the value of the rock in the foreground at A and notice how close it is in value to the shadow u at B. Around B it is in fact very hard to tell what is in the light and what is in the shadow. When you hit a note onto the canvas you must always know, whether what you are painting is in the light or whether it is in the shadow. Below point B in the foliage there are notes which I think are meant to be in the light, which are as dark as that shadow also. Now things of different hues may be lighter or darker but in order to get the effect of light, All of your lights must be noticeably lighter than all of your darks. The shadow of the man shows that this is supposed to be a bright sunny day. But the inconsistency of the light in the rest of the painting doesn't carry out this idea.
I think that strong straight line a C is problematic too here's why
There is an unintended relationship between that line and the line of the lower mid ground. That is making a sort of unwanted geometric shape in that area. At point E there is a missed opportunity to show the light moving through the painting. The strong shadow of the man says bright light but this group of bushes does not.
Here I have doctored up the painting in photoshop. Keep in mind I have no reference for this, so I have no idea what this place really looks like.I have done the following things.
- I got rid of that offending line in the distance and established larger, stronger shadow shadows in those mountains and cliff on the right.
- In simplified the middle ground and got rid of that bush which was in front of the figure, That bush seemed to bump up against the figure. Be careful when you put something moving into a painting like a little figure or a sailboat that there isnt something right in front of it, for it to crash into. Losing some of those bushes puts the figure up against a big dark which makes it show up better.
- I also threw the ground in that area into shadow. That makes the foreground light up better as it provides a foil or comparison for it. Your shadows will determine the brightness of the light just as much as the lights do. Its all about comparison. A painting with no strong darks usually wont light up.
- I rearranged the clouds a little bit to place a dark behind the illuminated cliff on the right and a light behind the darker mountain above it. It makes these show up better and the contrasts give more snap to the image. I have also made the sky shapes more varied and interesting.
- I simplified and pulled together into larger shapes of the ledges in the foreground. For those of you elsewhere, ledge is a New England term for exposed rock on the ground, which is something we have a lot of.
- The trees across the middle ground now establish a thrust in their form which counters the thrust of the mountains behind them. That makes the two balance.
- The painting now has fewer, larger shapes and I have sorted the lights and the darks more carefully.