Wednesday, 1 August 2012

July Challenge

The next in the series of monthly challenge photos that I share with my friend, Peter Ward. (

Peter sent this photograph of a canal scene  and I puzzled for a while as to how to approach the subject. There were two main reasons for this. Firstly the scene is fairly cluttered and it was difficult to decide what might be the focal point or indeed whether to have one or not. Secondly the image doesn't easily fit into the style that I've been working on recently.

Canal Side - Photograph

Finally I decided to crop the image a bit and to make the people in the boat the centre of attention by increasing the size of that element in the picture.

Having left little time to complete this task before the end of the month I'm afraid i dropped back into some formulaic techniques to get through it and have left myself a little dissatisfied on that count having failed to adapt some of the style aspects I've been working on.  On top of that  I realise there's another failing and that lies in the relationship between the canoe and the barge on the right hand side, their relative sizes don't read right. Back to the drawing board.

Canal Side - Watercolour on Not paper 12" x 9"


Sharon Whitley said...

I don't think it really matters if you've not used techniques you've been working on - I like to do challenges but try to look at it as having a bit of fun and not put too much pressure on myself - I really like this a lot - you could crop out the right hand barge if you're not happy and it still looks good. I love the light you've created and your greens - you have a wonderful natural style

Peter Ward said...

The barges on the left hand side and the boat with its passengers look fine. Not sure about the very dark tree at the back. Possibly better at the front?

L.W.Roth, said...

I think Peter's got a point. The blue green tree in the background needs to be faded out; it's in the distance. You did absolutely the right thing in cropping in. Left to me, I would have included everything and produced a very busy, distracting painting.

Mick Carney said...

Sharon - Thanks. Good advice. One of the reasons for Peter and I doing this was to provide a little stimulus to try different things. I just get a little disappointed with myself when I don't rise to the challenge.

Mick Carney said...

Peter - That tree is a bit of a distraction. I'll probably lighten it.

Mick Carney said...

Linda - Thanks. I think that it could be cropped even further, maybe up to that dark tree. It would then provide a natural stop.

Nora MacPhail said...

It looks great. I'm glad you made it about the people boating. They seem very happy sailing along, even from their backs! Seriously.
Also, those little covered boats are so cute. We don't have many of those here in Canada.
Have a blast.

Mick Carney said...

Thanks Nora. This was all about the people for me. The boats are called Narrow Boats and were the main means of transport along the canal system. These days the boats are mostly used for recreation. Good holidays are to be had travelling the canals.