View Full Version : wip - landscape

08 August 2011, 02:16 PM
Hi, your feedback is welcome ;)
overall composition
high res (
more details

08 August 2011, 01:56 PM
I'm really loving the quality of your painting. I don't know how far you're planning to render it but some of the sketchy parts make it look really nice. To me, the little details in the castle and the hill in the foreground are my favourite bits. I also like depth and how the mountains in the background fade away. What I think is the weakest point is the composition. As an illustration it's very wide and the focal point is a bit vague and ends up being around the river between the castle and the high mountains, as those two create almost a valley.

If you crop out just the mountains you get a nicely balanced illustration with the castle next to the river. If you crop out the castle you get the mountains next to a river. These two cropped images on their own look a lot stronger than what they create together.

I also find the stray trees in the foreground a bit randomly placed, and they don't really help the composition.

The colours are beautiful! Keep it up!

08 August 2011, 11:18 PM
Hi, your feedback is welcome ;)
overall composition
high res (
more details

Looks great! You have a great composition, the perspective looks good, and your colors are good.

The only thing I could see doing is a couple more layers of polish and detail, especially in the castle, and bring the colors of the different castles into the same family.

08 August 2011, 02:37 AM
Great start! Love the colours and feel, nice design for the castles and the towns.

As for the critique bit:
- I like how the stream leads the eye in from the corner to the back of the image. Except, where the stream meets the horizon you have a focal point, but there's nothing actually there.
- the clouds are equally lit over a very wide area. The sun has falloff like any other light source, so the clouds on the right are too bright.
- Why is the sky getting brighter on the right? Looks to me the sun is left, outside the image.
- With that in mind, the hills behind the dark castle seem to be lit from the top right, but with the sun coming from the top left, only bounced light would reach it. This is due to you copying and flipping the same part from the left. Handy way to quickly add detail, but do keep the lighting consistent. ;)
- I like the tree in the front on the left side (although they could use a bit bigger size difference to feel less artificial), but the one in the middle, along with the castle in the mid area also in the middle, makes for a very centralized and rigid composition. I would get rid of those trees or change it to 1 tree, off centre and move the middle castle too.
- Why are all those castle towns lined up in a single line? Would be more interesting to curve or snake them through the image. Again, especially the one in the dead center of the image. With the other castles so close it feels all your focal points are there, in the middle and right of the center. The middle castle would probably work better on the left of the river, a bit further back. This would also solve the problem of the river creating a focal point with nothing there. Not just the river btw, everything leads to that point, with the composition being like radiating lines atm. Which is fine for landscape composition, but it feels weird that the main focal point is just an empty spot.
- The shadow sides could use some bounce light (blue, from the sky, green from the grass. Although the reflected green light is probably too little and everything's too far away to be noticeable).
- Those spires and hills on the left are a nice and interesting detail. They could use some shape breakup, since they all are about the same shape and size, making them look artificial.
- The village on the far right along with its' surroundings are as bright as the area next to the stream, which is hit by more direct sunlight, so that area ought to be brighter than the area around the village. This area is also drawing quite a lot of attention, so you may want to darken this area. Especially closer toward us since its colour and value are really close to the bright yellow flowers in the foreground, merging them together. Once darkened (not too much) you will have more separation between your foreground and mid-ground, conveying more depth.
- Not sure what that big thing is on the horizon on the right. Needs more definition. The top is touching the top edge of the cloud behind it, resulting in a visual tangent. Better to heave some space between or have a clear overlap. Same thing for the castle in the middle. The top of it also touches the top edge of the cloud behind that.
- A nice finishing touch would be something living. Like birds, which can also be used to convey scale if you have the same birds in the distance too.
- the level of detail and 'grit' between the photographic elements and the painted elements are too large. So, the painted parts need more of this grit through small colour and value variations. Feng Zhu for instance uses a trick for this where he throws photographic elements, that has nothing to do with the subject really (so, not necessarily grass photos for grass etc.), over or under it, just for this grit. Or 'teeth' as he calls it.
- the atmospheric perspective feels too white. The sky is blue, so the atmospheric perspective would have a bluish cast to it as well. It's also a bit heavy for such a clear day. This is very evident on the right side. The left side is better.

If you need some additional reading on light and visual tangents, here are some great tutorials that explain things very well:

tutorial on light (
tutorial on visual tangents (

Happy painting! :arteest: Looking forward to seeing the finished result!

08 August 2011, 05:42 AM
Hahaha, when I read Ricardo's critique, I thought it was my alternate self who posted it. Good critique Ricardo. (For those of you who's wondering what the hell I'm talking about, Ricardo was one of my students from my "Becoming A Better Artist" workshop, linked in my signature below, and his critique style in the post above is reminiscent of the way I critique the students in my workshop).

There isn't much to add to Ricardo's excellent critique, but I'll add one more thing:

Ricardo pointed out that the mountains on the left can be broken up a bit in terms of varying the sizes, shapes, distances, and in a way, this also applies to the entire composition of the image. I'm seeing similarly sized big shapes arranged in the image with similar distances from each other. This tends to lock up the dynamic possibilities of the way the audience's eyes will take in your image. Try experiments with varying the composition at the most basic level, so that you have distinct large shapes that are significantly larger than others, and then have a hierarchy of medium, small, and tiny shapes that counterbalance your largest shape(s), so that entire composition can achieve both balance and a sense of dynamic excitement.

08 August 2011, 01:33 AM
@Lunatique: "You wake up at Seatac, SFO, LAX. You wake up at O'Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, BWI. Pacific, mountain, central. Lose an hour, gain an hour. This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time. You wake up at Air Harbor International. If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?"

I am the you that you thought you got rid off long ago. But you were mistaken. Within the deepest, darkest places in your very being I stayed hidden, growing stronger with every dark thought you cast aside. Every craving you denied yourself, every sinister intention strengthened my core, allowing me to inch to the surface one held-in scream at the time. Time to look in the mirror: I am you! (cue shocking music) Search your feelings, you know it is true! Notice how you and I (you) never post at the same time?

[more serious answer after this]

Thanks, I guess I picked up a few other things besides artsy stuff ;). The whole rhythm thingy; I still don't really have a basic grasp on that. Might also be one of the reasons I don't have much with music. :banghead:

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