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Critique please

Discussion in 'Artwork help and showcase for newbies' started by Muzzz, Jan 7, 2021.


  1. Muzzz

    Muzzz Double Actioner

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    OK here's my latest humble attempt, 3 weeks into holding an AB. I debated not uploading it but I need help. This is using Createx Illustration colors on bristol with a Badger 105 w/ .5mm needle.

    I had lots of problems and only managed to slightly correct a fraction of them:

    1. Went way too dark on the sky on the lower left hand side, had to paint over it with white and tried to rematch the colors on the right. I guess I should have just trashed it at this point and started again.
    2. Couldn't get the fade right out of the sun from yellow to orange to red to violet, its a pretty small area to do a fade. I tried to do the clouds first but maybe I should have just done the sun fade colors and then done the clouds over top.
    3. The boat didn't turn out the shade of grey I wanted, I masked it at the wrong place
    4. The reflections look cartoonish, I did the sun with a hair brush but it might have turned out better with the AB. Managed to erase a little but couldnt scratch. I finally just gave up on fixing it hahah.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for any advice,
    Murray
    HellBird, jord001, Ryck and 2 others like this.
  2. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    I am glad you decided to upload it. I think it looks lovely!

    Remember that an airbrush is not a magical wand. In my own (limited) experience, a painting rarely achieves a very realistic look automatically, just by applying an airbrush. This will emerge over time, after your 100th painting. Hence, it's important to keep painting complete pictures, not just practicing lines and daggers. Keep them coming!.
  3. Karl Becker

    Karl Becker Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I'm sure you'll get better advice from some of the more experienced members, but I'll throw my uneducated opinion out there in case it helps at all. Take it for what it's worth. :) Keep in mind I don't have a reference to compare it to.

    First, the sky and water look pretty good! The clouds above the sun could be faded a little more so the black edges don't appear as harsh. Also, I'm not sure if the black at the top of the waterline is supposed to be more clouds, or land in the horizon. If it's land, those lines could be more defined.

    1. The lower left portion of the sky look fine to me. It makes sense that the further you get from the sun, the darker it would get.
    2. Again, no reference, but I think the sun looks fine. You could always add more white/yellow to it to highlight it more, which would draw more attention to the actual sun and less to the colors around it.
    3. If you are using masking or a stencil for the boat, you could remask it and go over it with lighter colors to achieve the look you want. In my experience, gray always looks lighter in the cup than it does once it dries on the canvas. Good idea to do a test spray first.
    4. As for the reflections, keep in mind that water isn't smooth. There will be variations in the texture. My only thought there would be try to keep the textures similar in all of them since they are so close to each other.

    Not sure if any of that helps, but there it is. You are obviously making progress, which is all us newbs can really hope for. :D I'm also guessing that if you walk away from it for a while and look at it again from a distance of more than 2', it will look better than you think.

    Keep trying, and have fun with it!
  4. Karl Becker

    Karl Becker Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Just saw that Franc replied. He is absolutely correct.
    jord001 likes this.
  5. erwin de pan

    erwin de pan Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I think it worked out well.:thumbsup:
    The suggestions I give are my personal things that I would do differently.
    First I would make the light over the water much wider at the bottom.
    I would also use the airbrush to make a gradient from light (near the sun) to dark at the bottom, but very light not covering it.
    And then a shade over it, maybe orange or a combination with the same blue as the rest (the sun must be lighter than the reflection.)
    I would put some wrinkles in the sails and maybe lighten them a bit.
    I would make the boat itself a bit darker above the waterline.
    Then it look a bit more massive.
    This is what I would personally do.
    But it is different for everyone.:)
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  6. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    As a painting it looks absolutely fine to me. Only when I read the things your not happy with do I see what your talking about but even then Its ok. We as the artists are the worst for seeing what we deem as mistakes.

    Yes maybe you should have done the sun fade before the clouds. Would have made it easier to work light to dark in that bit instead of doing the clouds first. You should have been able to do it with your airbrush, It doesn't matter though. Boat looks fine, a nice silhouette against the background.

    Reflections are fine, they are on water and water moves, the reflection looks good. If we could see the reference then maybe we would say "yeh that doesn't look the same" but we cant and it looks good on its own merits, not against a picture. Keep on painting, your doing fine, more control comes with practice and will come.
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  7. Muzzz

    Muzzz Double Actioner

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    Thanks for your gracious feedback everyone, much appreciated. Yes I'm my own worst critic. Art at this stage of learning seems to be a "blockomor"...looks good from a block or more away lol

    Looking at it the next day, and considering your comments, I think my biggest challenges with this one were the sequence of what shades/layers to lay down first, and how light behaves in the different parts of the picture, translating this understanding through the AB.

    One logistical challenge I've got is that the reference is a picture on my laptop, which is a good 4 feet away from the easel, hard to step back and compare progress. I printed the image on my black & white printer but that only gets me part way.

    I'll keep trying. I'm having fun!
    LadyCharlie, jord001 and erwin de pan like this.

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