Second Riverwalk painting 11 x 14


Riverwalk's Cafe Ole in San Antonio Ok, I may have to stick to portraits. I did enjoy the Cafe Ole part, but the water ate my lunch. And the trees. What should I have done? Can this be fixed? It seems to be jumbled and a mish mosh of colors, which is what the reference photo is, of course. Simplify? I would someday like to feel as though any subject matter is possible for me to paint. Feeling shut out of landscapes by my as-yet-inadequate methods is frustrating. I wondered whether to post this, but truth is truth and maybe someone has advice for me that will penetrate the fog around my head on this subject.

13 comments:

Pattie said...

Now you know where my head has been with the one I have wrestled with this week. I think this one has wonderful colors and the placement of them makes the painting 'zing'! One thing I noticed is - I know a boat just passed by, does the water churn that much and if so, maybe the behind the boat, needs to show it or less churning in the foreground? I have never seen it..is the river about as wide as a street?

A Painting A Day by Diana Marshall said...

Hi Susan,
What a beautiful painting, I think it's perfect, I have checked out your other landscape paintings and they look fine to me.. well designed, colorful and yes zingy..just what I like. I can't quite see what could be wrong with it, nothing jumps out at me. I love the tree and the string of what I imagine to be, colored lights, and the water makes it for me.

Dianne Mize said...

Keep doing portraits, of course, but don't you dare give up on landscape. What I see that might help the way you feel is to take the values in the water a bit darker, lower chroma and not so much contrast. After that, one way to bring a feeling of unity into a landscape is to find a way to make the edges of three sides a bit darker. A BIT, not much. Squint, squint, squint.
Oh, by the way, this one's got some good stuff in it. Just a bit of tweaking and it will make you feel happy.

Susan Carlin said...

Pattie, Yes, the river is about the width of a street in most places. Does the water seem churned up? Where the white areas are? I wondered about that, too.

Susan Carlin said...

Diana- Thank you for the positive words... I do see now that my foreground right string of lights needs to continue a bit further right... they end in the middle of nowhere!

Susan Carlin said...

Dianne- I guess I need more explanation about the three sides darker part. I get the part about the foreground being better darker and with contrast. When I go back tomorrow I'll try that. Thank you!!

Dianne Mize said...

Don't take "three sides darker" too seriously. It's just a save-your-butt formula that landscape painters often use. It means to either find a way to make dark go off the edge on at least three sides and/or make any lights going off the edges just a tad darker. These little ploys many times can help anchor things down when a lot of contrast is going on.

S.M. Sedwick said...

This painting is really lively and fun. The colored umbrellas are gorgeous. I think all the "activity" in the water is pulling my eye away from the joyful scene on the riverbank, where it really wants to go. I would try simplifying the surface and tonight down that whiteness, as Dianne said. Then the bridge would be the lightest area in the composition. Also, I don't really think you need to worry about the string of lights not going all the way to the edge. It doesn't bother me at all - plus, a frame would probably cover that up anyway!

Susan Carlin said...

Thank you Dianne and Sarah (and Diane who sent words of wisdom by email) I'll look with fresh eyes tomorrow and see what I might want to change. I'll post any progress then You're so generous to offer your thoughts! I appreciate it very much.

Jo Castillo said...

I love this! You know how I love color. I think changing the water will help your feelings about it. It should be a darker value, especially in the front. I was always told the four corners should be different and the front/lower two are very similar. Darkening them should hold the eye in. The depth and colors are great otherwise.

Susan Carlin said...

Thanks, Jo. I actually considered that and then got all diverted on the cowboy paintings today... I'll look at it again tomorrow! I think you have something there.

pam lewis said...

I also love the liveliness of the riverwalk Cafe Ole' scene. I feel as if I'm back there! Wishful thinking as I sit at work. I love the reflections in the water and the motion; it's all so cheerful!
I'm a bit behind in viewing these. I really enjoyed the cowboy also; both views are wonderful! He is so expressive! Nice work!

Ann Reyes said...

Susan, I think this is a really nice painting. The only suggestion I have is to slightly darken some of the white on the left side of the water. Cover the white with your hand and see what it does to your painting. The white draws your eye and I don't think that's what you want. When you cover it with something a little darker, the sidewalk cafe pops out. I presume that is your emphasis--the beautiful colorful umbrellas. Just tone down the white and I think you'll love the painting. It's very good.

Your portraits are wonderful--I love both the cowboy paintings! But, keep paiting landscapes, too.