Wednesday, May 21, 2008

View from The River Levee





I was on the west side of the Sacramento River levee in West Sacramento to get this farm and barn scene. It was all painted with different sizes of flat brushes. I'm in a flat brush mode. I thought the challenge would be the magnificent oak tree towering over the barn but noooo!... I spent several hours trying to make the foreground work. I finally ended up painting the foreground on the right side of the road darker than it really was. It looks kinda like a cast shadow of dark value greens, blues, and violets. Then I painted in some oranges to compliment the green oak and another small cast shadow coming in from the left and matching the cast shadow coming off the barn and farm equipment. Shadows going right and left?! Oh well, it seems to work. I softened the field behind the barn so as to place more emphasis on the tree, barn, and foreground. I'm going to let this painting rest, but meanwhile, I'd love to get some feedback from some of you.

13 comments:

onpainting said...

I like the piece. Having recently painted a field of dead grass which I thought would be an easy road kill; hours later I struggled to make it read, I can appreciate the forground work.

David Lobenberg said...

Thanks Onpainting. Not one poppy or weed was dug up and moved! (inside joke- see an April post showing a desert landscape and one loan poppy at Onpainting blog. I have a link)

Frank Gardner said...

Like seeing the step by step David. I like how you resolved the problem foreground. You are right about the shadows going everywhere. You could fix that pretty easily though. I think maybe the pole shadow could be shortened and shifted a bit and that would be enough. In line with your original shadow from the tree maybe. Think about the roof that you see being in light too, so where is the sun. High in the sky slightly to my left I would assume?
The foreground darks do not bother me as much for some reason. Painted with confidence , so I believe it.
Hey, you asked.

David Lobenberg said...

I'm pretty sure, Frank, that we think alike. Artist blogs are a great vehicle for artists to learn from each other and to exchange ideas. Tomorrow I'm going to take a look at that pesky power pole shadow and probably shift its direction. If I don't, however, do you think the average art buyer would notice or am I being a tad too anal? Always appreciate your comments...the good, the bad, and even the ugly (I may deserve it!)

Frank Gardner said...

You know, I probably would not even have picked up on any of those shadows if you had not mentioned it.
At first glance, it all looks right.
I don't think anyone would notice, but if you do, it is worth it to change it.

David Lobenberg said...

I really think you are right on the idea that I may be the only one who is noticing the inconsistency of the shadow directions. And you know what?... I'm thinking that I may NOT alter that shadow. There is a fine line separating worrying about details like that and the impressionistic style I'm going after. Unless it is something blatant that would bother a lot of people, then forget about it!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

love this. I often start with a radical for landscape.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

After reading the comments I went back and looked again and read the post,(sometimes I don't) and my first impression is still my first impression. Nice Painting.
As one over complicater to another, I think you're over complicating it ;)
if one chose to think about the shadows, one could imagine them to be just differences in the landscape which would create different values.
My two cents.

David Lobenberg said...

Mary: Yea, ya right!

judy day said...

From your humble and admiring student: I like so many things about the painting, but I think the compostion is a bit static - too much in the middle, unclear emphasis. I've been playing with this in photoshop, and to really make the focus the towering tree, you'd need to crop the left and bottom, or crop both sides and make it vertical picture. My one cent.

David Lobenberg said...

Thanks for your one cent Judy. I'm always looking for and appreciate critiques. I agree and disagree with what you are saying. Yes, if I did follow your cropping suggestions, it would emphasize barn/towering tree, and that would be a good thing indeed. What I like about my non cropped painting, however, is the barn/towering oak...and...expanse of flat crop land behind. I'm going to be doing this scene again but from a slightly different angle with the crop land behind and with raking shadows going across it during sunset. This time the barn/oak will be to the right side so I can emphasize the shadows stretching off from right to left. Maybe we have a situation here where it's six or one half dozen of the other (I don't know if that makes too much sense, but I hope you get my drift). By the way, I recently critiqued a fellow blogger painter that I really like, and made a suggestion that he respectfully disagreed with. I suggested that his painting would be stronger if he removed a tree. He said no way and defended that little sapling! Guess sometimes things are subjective.

Frank Gardner said...

Little sapling? That sucker is older than you and me put together : )

David Lobenberg said...

So what the hell do I know about trees...not too much! Thanks for setting me straight on this Frank, and I ain't gonna talk about that tree in your painting no more!