Learn to paint in Acrylic paints - Step by Step
Hi Charles. Thanks for your response as I always find it helpful.
I now see that combining different reference photos and changing the light direction led to my main problem in this painting. But I want to make sure I understand your feedback correctly.
Sun Rays: I played around with these quite a bit. I like the light effect behind the deer, but they did confuse me. I looked at the ground where the deer are standing (in my painting) to try to align. The lower 3 rays fall behind all the deer The deer on the left is more in shade.. The other 2 are standing in the light and their heads are effected by the upper 2 sun rays. You are saying that it is harder to achieve separation of the deer because of the light background. To me this was particularly difficult for the front 2 deer which are standing in the light. I plan to work on lighting the deer a bit more, but it may be difficult given the light background.
Left foreground: I see what you are saying about this strip of lighted grass. My intent was to try to use some of the blue in the background in the foreground, as well. But I have noticed that particular strip has a glow somehow that draws the eye, which I don't want. It is probably best to remove the blue flowers.
Tree trunks: Your comment about the foreground tree trunks is really helpful. I do see what you are saying and they should not be uniformly lighted. This is something that I can work on a bit in this painting. I was trying to have the trees be a border that did not draw the eye from the deer, but I now see that they need a bit more attention.
Let me know if I have understood your feedback correctly.
Thanks for the encouragement to try another painting with a similar theme. I am sure it would help me feel more satisfied, particularly if I stick to one photo with good lighting.
Thanks, again, Charles for all of your support and information.
I think we are talking about two different planes of light, Sarah! I do not have an issue with the light rays as such; it is more the value of the trees in the background. If you wanted to lead the eye along the path and around the corner, a lighter background encourages the visual trip. To focus on the plane where you have the deer and the sunlight, the effect would be enhanced with darker values in the background. The lightest spot on the path is beyond the deer, while the sunlit path in the foreground is darker than some of the shaded areas in the background. You are leading the eye beyond the deer.
The rays of light are highly directional when coming through the canopy - they would not brighten trees in the background. The rays are visible only because they illuminate water vapor, dust, spores, and flies, etc. that are in the air. The darker the background value, the brighter the same rays will appear in comparison. If you do a quick online look at a Kincaide painting, you might get a better idea of what I am trying to say. Look at the values he placed around and behind the light source.
Just think - had you flipped the original image left to right, the deer would have been facing the "right" way and made life soooo much easier. . That's why hindsight is such a good teacher!
Want a change of pace? Check out Mike Barr, an Australian acrylic artist who does some gorgeous beach scenes. He has been featured a couple times in Acrylic Artist magazine, and has a friendly website.
Thanks for the further clarification, Charles. I do understand what you are saying now - and oh, yes - I so wish I had flipped the deer before I painted. It would have made painting so much easier!
Thanks for the references - I will check them out. I appreciate the time you have put into this feedback. Take care.
I have updated this painting a bit and I am going to call it finished for this time. I worked on more lighting for the deer and reduced the white markings a bit. I also removed the blue flowers to the left and dappled the light on the trees a bit more. I did not change the light or color as I think it just is what it is for this one. Thank you to everyone who gave me feedback j- it was very helpful. I appreciate you all so much!