Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Canyon Light - slight adjustment

After feedback from friends on this blog and also Wet Canvas, I made some tentative adjustments to the picture. I've tried to make the water striations read in a more horizontal way, added a little warmth to the shadow side and increased small amounts of detail and texture on the right hand side. A very subtle toning down of the largest orange mass near the centre completed the adjustments.

The issue of water striations and how they read is a difficult area, particularly when the source material gives information that suggests something different. When translated into paint it is easy to give the impression that there is a slope that doesn't exist.

I've added the postcard that I used as reference for this picture to illustrate the potential problem. My first pass at representing the water was influenced by the striations in the photograph and didn't read properly, hence the adjustment in the latest effort.

By the way, this is the first time that I have worked on stretched linen and find it very responsive as a support. I'm considering buying a roll of linen and stretching it myself as well as preparing boards with it as well. Linen mounted on boards isn't available in England so if I want to use it, I'll have to make my own.

Canyon Light - Oil on stretched linen 16" x 12"



Bill Cramer said...

Hey Mick, Tough subject! Looks like you're working it out though. On the left where the rocks meet the water, I have trouble with the grey reflections (?) of the rocks on the water. It kind of kills the illusion of flatness of the river. I bet if you lighty pulled a different maybe darker blue/grey across that it would simplify and flatten it back out. Also, you might have copied the photo too well. To my thinking the "v" of canyon is too centered, creating nearly equal dark masses on either side. Hard to fix now, but something to think about next time. One other point about distant objects. They also need to be softer edged, usually. The light on the distant upper walls is mostly reflected light and very hard to capture. Really need to play up the difference between the direct light and the reflected. Bill

Mick Carney said...

Bill - Thanks for your continuing interest and your great advice. I won't get a chance to make any further adjustments till I return from a painting trip to Norfolk where the subject matter will be very different - more to do with weather and atmosphere than monumental landscape. The suggestions you make are definitely ways to boost this piece and I'll give them a bash on return home.