I am a fairly new painter using acrylics.  I watched Karen't video lesson for this photo.   Do the trees in front of the lake need to be higher?  It seems like the pond is at an angle down.   I bet there is some trick to learn about this?

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Hi Susan! I think you have done a superb job on the foreground flowers, foliage, and the fence. They are beautiful in their colors and form!

I think others would offer better advice than me on potential improvements, but I think you could help to fix the tilted lake by making it less round and more oval in shape. I feel like making it more round gives me the feeling that I am above it looking down on it, but since I know my eye is In front of it and more at the height of the foreground flowers, the roundness causes it to look tilted forward. Does that even make sense?!? (I am having trouble explaining it. Sorry about that.) Anyway, I think the perspective isn't consistent from the foreground to the mid ground lake and trees. I also agree with you that the mid ground trees could be taller.

Overall, you are off to a great start on this one!

Thank-you so much for the reply.  I do understand what you are saying and it makes sense.  I will give it a try and repost the pic.  Its' such a learning process:)

Corri Schmidt said:

Hi Susan! I think you have done a superb job on the foreground flowers, foliage, and the fence. They are beautiful in their colors and form!

I think others would offer better advice than me on potential improvements, but I think you could help to fix the tilted lake by making it less round and more oval in shape. I feel like making it more round gives me the feeling that I am above it looking down on it, but since I know my eye is In front of it and more at the height of the foreground flowers, the roundness causes it to look tilted forward. Does that even make sense?!? (I am having trouble explaining it. Sorry about that.) Anyway, I think the perspective isn't consistent from the foreground to the mid ground lake and trees. I also agree with you that the mid ground trees could be taller.

Overall, you are off to a great start on this one!

This is really a beautiful start. LOVE the foreground flowers and fence.  The lake is tipping forward - drawing ellipses in perspective, whether it be the top of a wine glass, a lake, a bicycle wheel, is difficult to understand and do at first.  Google "drawing ellipses in perspective" and there is a wealth of info out there including YouTube videos. I'm sure Karen will weigh in on the trees. I'm not sure it's the trees that need fixing or just the lake in perspective. 

Hi Susan.  I think your painting is lovely and you are off to a great start.  I agree with Corri's and Elizabeth's comments that your foreground is really well done and that the pond should be more of an ellipse to look natural.

Another thing that I see is that the dark blue of the pond and the sky make them pop a bit rather than recede into the distance.  Perhaps making them a paler or greyer shade of blue will help them to recede.  This is something that I often struggle with as I love rich, bright colors and want to use them and it is a challenge to make them light or grey enough so that they recede in the distance.

I am looking forward to seeing your finished painting as you are doing beautifully!

Hi Susan! Thanks so much for posting this and sharing with us!

You've done a great job on this! Very nice!

You have some nice forms going on here. I love the soft gold color of the field.

Here are a couple of ideas for you:

Yes, Corri, Elizabeth and Sarah, you are spot on with the idea of making the pond a thinner oval shape, less round! Great input there! This is an easy fix Susan, just bring your trees behind the pond down further, and paint the hill down into the top of the trees as well so they don't get too tall.

As well, Sarah is right on with the color of the pond being too rich and bright. We call this being too "chromatic" . The blue of water is a reflection of the blue of the sky. So you want to lighten it up and also neutralize it a little by adding the complimentary color - in this case orange (a little yellow and a little red) in tiny amounts.

Your distant hills are lighter in value - which is great! they stay back in the distance nicely! You have them all one value and color right now. Study your reference and see where there are variations to the color. It is also a pretty distinct brown shade, you will find it more pleasing, and read more distant, if you make this a blue color...

You might really enjoy going through my Classes - "The Magic Of Values" There are some great exercises and info about seeing value and using it to create distance and realism in your paintings.

As this relates to this painting, Your trees need to be progressively lighter, bluer/grayer, and with less detail as you move back in the painting. There isn't a lot of value difference right now, so the illusion of distance isn't quite there.

You've done a lovely job on your foreground and flowers. Like in the video - remember to have a shadow color for the flowers that you lay down first, then the lighter color on top. Always tint your white just slightly with yellow or red to keep it from being chalky.

The key to natural looking wildflowers is to group some of them together. Have them overlap each other. Try to avoid the "polka dot" effect.

You really did a nice job on this - the ideas I'm throwing out there are meant to encourage you! I can tell you are really enjoying painting, and that is so wonderful!

Thanks again for being brave and posting - it helps everyone to see all the responses, and to stop and think through their own responses as well!

I really am honored to have your help.  I plan on taking your magic of values classes.  so much to learn and so little time.  Getting close to retirement!  Woohoo!

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