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Deanna D Northern Studio

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Old Monday 3rd May 2010, 21:56   #1
Suvi
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Smile Deanna D Northern Studio

I have posted a couple times here - although it has been awhile. Been busy with a group of artists trying to get an artists co-op organized... I have noticed that everyone has one main thread and keep adding to it.. Im not sure if I can merge the ones I have posted prior?

As for a bit of an introduction I have been painting for 6 + years, drawing and sketching for much much longer - I have always had a facination with birds and from a young age was watching & Identifying local and migrating birds, in the last year or so I have had so many comments like "Wow you paint alot of birds" and " you should try painting something other than birds.." but i keep going back! here is a couple of my latest...

Please let me know what you think & how I could improve!

Thank-You!
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Old Monday 3rd May 2010, 21:58   #2
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Painting #1 9x9 Red Neck Gerbe - Acrylic & Indian Ink - b/g painted with knife

#2 16x20 Mating Heron - Acrylic - b/g painted with knife

#3 12x16(?) Euroasia Kingfisher - Acrylic

#4 16x20 Great Grey Owl - Acrylic & Indian Ink
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2010, 16:58   #3
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welcome Suvi, or welcome back, this is the best bit of BF....
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2010, 18:18   #4
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Hi Suvi - I particularly like the red-necked grebe and youngsters. As for advice regarding improvement - all that really strikes me is that you appear to be working in oils and this is an incredibly difficult medium to use if trying to convey the ethereal quality of birds (although a glance at Colleen's thread belies this statement). I would suggest you give watercolour a try - make your drawing as good as you are able and add just enough colour to 'bring it to life' - using this technique of adding paint in washes, or layers, can create a richness of colour and texture whilst retaining a lightness and subtlety. Having said that I like the strong colours you have with these - just maybe there are certain areas that need, by definition, a little more care and attention to etail; bills, eyes and feet are such.
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2010, 19:40   #5
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Welcome back Suvi, I love the playful qualities in the colours and poses, some very striking work here - I would agree with Tim that some areas could do with a little more attention just to make the forms tighter. Looking forward to seeing more from you.
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2010, 22:57   #6
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Colleen - Thank you, its good to be back! :)

Tim - I am using an open acrylic, a nice combo of oil & acrylic, I do enjoy how forgivable the arcylics are... I will work at refining the key areas, Thanks :)

Nick - Thanks! Im glad you like the poses! I will work on refining some areas :)
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2010, 02:54   #7
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I just noticed Suvi that you asked for comments, you have some good ones, here is one that I'd suggest, it's only my opinion tho

To me it looks like you have a handle on the birds and can move forward on that, yet IMO your painting skills and understanding of your media do not match your bird skills. Of course painting a lot will help, but when I was in this position what helped me most was setting up very simple still life, one lemon, one apple or a piece of cloth lighting it simply and then painting it with a limited palette of 3 or 4 colors, no more. This lets you find out about each color and how it reacts, how the paint can be applied, how the brushes work, what mark each one makes, and gives you so much more control over your media. The open acrylics can go dead very easily, and they take a light hand or they will not give any luminosity at least as I felt when using them

Until you have some good technical control it's hard to get on with the finer aspects.
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2010, 03:29   #8
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Colleen - Thank you for taking the time to help, Maybe i havnt used acrylics enough - or maybe its that prior to the open I used poor quality acrylics.. but Im not sure I understand what you mean by the paint falling dead? Are my colours falling flat? I appreciate everything you've said and will take your wonderful words of advice to the studio and see what I can do!

Thanks again

Deanna
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2010, 05:20   #9
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Originally Posted by Suvi View Post
Are my colours falling flat?

Deanna
Yes they have at least in the photo, I will have to guess, but here are some things to consider.

It looks like you just get the paint and push it on the canvas without much thought of your brush, the strokes and laying on the paint, one color next to the other, then letting the color have a say about the one next to it so to speak. You put down blue, then you add purple, and scrub in white for some highlight. This is fine if you are after a primitive piece so I hesitate to say something beyond where you want to go.

So let me start here, in realism Value trumps color every time if you are looking to create something a bit more realistic, even if you intend to keep it impressionist. I put your painting in greyscale to show you that all color and no value changes make a pretty flat painting.

So Value is something to learn to see, it's not easy as the eyes are always compensating, and it' easy to get fooled. Along the same line is painting what you see, not what you think. So in the grebe work you could ask was that the blue of the water? is water blue? ( It's always reflecting what is around it and can be red and green) What color do I want to use to express the things I want to communicate ? Do I need really loud and bright, soft and easy, dreamy, all these would be using different colors and values.

Try limiting your palette to just a few colors and white,(for a while) have one color that you can make a grey from, say bt sienna and ultramarine blue...that will make a black and with white added you can get a range of cool or warm greys, more sienna is warmer, more ultra is cooler...add some of the grey to some of the pure colors and see what happens.

Try taking more time to paint, don't rush along to the finish, notice what you are doing, how your hand moves, what the brushes do, how the color changes... what decisions you are making along the way. Why put the bird there instead of here for instance.....its sort of making the unconscious artist we are are more alert to the results in front of us.

After you've painted some of the little things I suggested, maybe you can come in and say if it helped any. On the other hand you can stay just as you are and keep painting along, not doing any of this and you will come to your own conclusions which are as valid as mine.
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2010, 12:03   #10
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Nice to see you back Suvi. You've got some great advice in the above posts, Colleen has a particularly analytical way and can pick up on all sorts and give really strong tips on technique. You could do a great deal worse than take on board her comments and learn from them, that's for sure!

For myself I would suggest taming the colours a bit. Although nature has some stunning colours I've always found that calming some of the more 'unruly' ones can be a benefit. Colours straight from the tube can be a bit like that, a little 'lary' and consequently they can look a touch artificial. Of course if the zingy, bright colour thing is what really gets you excited about painting then you should continue on with it and revel in the colour, it's all about enjoyment after all!

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Old Wednesday 5th May 2010, 14:18   #11
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Colleen - thank you for taking the time to share some advice with me i will deginitally try to remeber it all as i go along!

Woody- i started tring to add in brighter colors after i got a few comments on how dark my paintings were.. I will post a couple more when i get to the right computer


Thanks for all your help!
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2010, 14:52   #12
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These are a couple of my older paintings, Kingfisher is 20x20 and the Shorebirds is 16x16.. these are a couple that would get the 'dark' comments. I would be interested to know what everyone here thinks!
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2010, 18:36   #13
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Thanks for posting, you have very nicely observed birds, by looking in here with all the great avian artists you will get as much as you need and more.

What needs attention is the background painting, and IMO 2 main areas need attention, in order of priorty to me anyway, Compostion and Value. I'd say for now leave the Comp. by looking in here at the many superb works posted by the lads, you will begin to see some ideas you can apply, but the Value issue would be a good thing to work on for a while. ONe thing at a time.

ANY color can be "dark" so using a pure tone will not change that, dark is not the real issue, a range of values is, So think this over, I put one of the paintings in grey scale, then in Photoshop I changed Levels, to push the values, ie darker darks and lighter lights, even this crude change shows a bit more liveliness.

Here is a tool I use ( I have a lot of trouble seeing values) See the keyhole? you can put that in front of your eyes, over a part of the landscape or painting and squint your eyes until the card and the bit in the keyhole blend, this lets you see what value a color is...say ultramarine blue, is about a value 9...this is cheap, a few $, mine is made by liquitex, but there are others. It's really a great way to train your eye. The scale can be used indoors or out, on the land or on the painting, I play a game sometimes and guess first then see with the scale how close I am, it is really surprising how off it can get.

Your birds are lively and original, observed well, as I am finding, birds have to live somewhere so the environment they live in is needed too, it's just a matter of practice, you have the hard part done with the years you've spent with your subject. There are many approaches to the bg, but whatever one you choose you will still need the Value thing.

keep posting
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2010, 18:42   #14
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sorry couldn't get the scale to post I'll try again
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Old Thursday 6th May 2010, 01:00   #15
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Colleen, Thank you for taking the time to help me, your advice is very much welcomed... I will see if I can find one of the keyholes... I am on my way over to your thread to see all this wonderful advice in action! --I just got some juried pieces back from a show today, along with the jury's comments... feeling a tad disheartened, But it is all a learning curve. and I will take all your advice, starting with focusing on value, to the easle and see what I can do :)
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Old Thursday 6th May 2010, 08:08   #16
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Colleen, Thank you for taking the time to help me, your advice is very much welcomed... I will see if I can find one of the keyholes... I am on my way over to your thread to see all this wonderful advice in action! --I just got some juried pieces back from a show today, along with the jury's comments... feeling a tad disheartened, But it is all a learning curve. and I will take all your advice, starting with focusing on value, to the easle and see what I can do :)
Deanna - I'm afraid that horrible word 'rejection' is simply part and parcel of the artist's lot. Just remember to make your art for the one and only person that matters in all of this - that's you. There's nothing worse than cooking up images just because you feel you have to (that's an illustrator's job ) - enjoy all the processes and experimentation and you'll find your own way, which is by far the best way. No-one else really matters (unless you're trying to make a living that is . . . . . . . . )
Keep at it - you have lots to like and admire in your work.
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Old Thursday 6th May 2010, 10:01   #17
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I can't agree more with Tim. The most important part of the art making is the proccess. Is where the artists learn from. The final result can be of interest to the observer, but for the artist a finished piece is a dead end, Nothing can be done to improve it. You learn from the making, from your mistakes and from the trial and error. What today is a mistake can be a resourceful tool tomorrow in a different context.
Lot of things can be said about your paintings but I'd suggest that you get some teaching about colour and drawing or buy one of the many art manuals for self teaching. And don't forget that the real artist is the one that take risks, no the one that always tries to please the customers. May I suggest you to read two interesting books. One is Art and Fear (David Bayles & Ted Orland) and the other Trust the Process (Shaun Mcniff) Both available at Amazon.
Good Luck
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Old Thursday 6th May 2010, 10:02   #18
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Some cracking advice up-thread which I wouldn't try and add to. But in case you are seeking some encouragement, that hook of shadow around the Red-necked Grebe's throat and cheeks is spot on- just exactly what Rn G looks like.
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Old Thursday 6th May 2010, 15:44   #19
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Tim - I appreciate your thoughts.... I would like to be able to make a living at it, eventually, I know Im a long ways from there though..

Juan - Thanks for the references, I will see if I can find them in the Library..

Ed - Thank you for the encouragment, glad to see I got part of it right :)
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Old Thursday 6th May 2010, 16:11   #20
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Hi Suvi and a big welcome back from me.Looking forward to seeing a lot more of your work. remember enjoy your painting and experiment, its the only way to get the feel of it. you will see the improvement come.
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Old Thursday 6th May 2010, 16:17   #21
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Arthur - Thank you! its good to be back, I have been getting wonderful advice and alot of help here. BF is a wonderful place!
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Old Friday 7th May 2010, 21:39   #22
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No advice from me Suvi but I'm really struck by the grebes.
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Old Friday 7th May 2010, 23:56   #23
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Solitary- thank you. That means alot to me :) at least i hope struck in a good way!
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Old Monday 26th July 2010, 14:28   #24
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Ive been a bit slow to post here - there is a group of artists that have started an artisan centre and its a little crazy to try and keep 13 people all on the same page, as well as some major changes in my own life have just kept me away from here and sadly my painting..

Just got back from a week of backpacking inthe rockies, very inspiring... and also learnt that one of my paintings sold! woo hooo!!

This is the one I sold, any comments on improvement are always apprciated.

See you all on your threads!
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Old Monday 26th July 2010, 16:53   #25
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Well done on the sale - you bring great character to your work and in this one especially so. Very clever use of the sombre palette wich actually brings a degree of richness and vitality and the addition of the white nicely lifts the image up in key.
Hope the Rockies were inspirational - nothing quite like being 'out there' for sorting out the soul - just a wee bit, anyway.
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