WIP-Silhouette/Foreground Watercolor



  • Hello all,
    I'm taking a community water color class, and last week we were painting reflections. I made this guy for it, but I feel like it is too top heavy.
    I am playing around with doing a foreground element to help balance it out, using acetate ontop of the painting to try and figure out the shapes before I commit.
    I'm really looking to find the balance in the image and also move your eye to the central feeding bird. Are the silhouette shapes working?
    I'm very open to and appreciative of any and all feedback.
    Thank you 🙂
    0_1542844853307_unspecified-2.jpg
    0_1542844863578_unspecified.jpg
    0_1542844872193_unspecified-1.jpg


  • Pro

    I think the black silhouettes are really taking over and taking the spotlight, however the color is really appealing and brings out the others! At first when you said you were adding a foreground element I started shaking my head, but when I scrolled and saw your tests I went "Ohhhhhh!" Hahaha..
    Here's what I'd do:
    0_1542848535195_crop.jpg

    It's a GORGEOUS piece, congratulations!!


  • SVS OG

    @kaitlinmakes I really like the branches in the foreground, it frames the picture well, I pretty much concur with Ness's observations



  • @julian-beresford
    @NessIllustration
    haha - no, I agree - the black is terrible - but it's the only color marker that held up on the acetate. I think I'm going to go with a darker brown/green or brown/purple - But I haven't moved over to color studies yet.
    Is the suggestion to mostly chop off the bottom third and keep the foreground branches low in the picture frame?

    Thank you so much for chiming in, you two!


  • Pro

    @kaitlinmakes I actually love the black! It's going a bit purple on the edges, it's beautiful 🙂 It's just a bit voluminous, hence the suggestion to chop off the bottom. With the new comp, the bird sits on the thirds of the picture in both directions so the focus is clearly on him@



  • @nessillustration
    Brilliant - I got your drift now!


  • Moderator

    I like the black mockups. The top one more than the bottom. If you keep the dark value but add dimension to the branches with low key value of light and shadow I think that would be wonderful. Bring some of the great colors from the top into the dark but using a darker value version of them. Very pretty. 👍👍👍


  • SVS OG

    Beautiful work - stunning colors and very evocative. The original is top heavy and I think the framing with the branches really helps that but I agree with @NessIllustration on the cropping.



  • I just wanted to give a quick update and thank everyone for chiming in. For some reason foregrounds give me a straight up mental block and I just can't wrap my mind around them when it's time to doooo it.
    But I appreciate the feedback, the kind words and the encouragement.
    I did the whole scene just to see what it could look like - but I do agree with the cropping at the end. I tried to do subtle value changes and to express light, but it all quickly got away from me.
    Mahalo.
    1_1543136232562_IMG_4850.JPG 0_1543136232561_IMG_4849.JPG


  • SVS OG

    Hi! This might be too late but I actually like the first version without the trees and roots. The bottom half might look empty but that’s the piece’s way of remaining in balanced. It’s an inbalanced balance.


  • SVS OG

    As for the new cropped piece though, I think it’s cropped a bit too high. It would be nice to see more of those gnarled roots but not all of them.


  • SVS OG

    I like the bottom one the best. It’s got the right amount of foreground. I also like the translucent nature of the new elements. It will look beautiful when you add it in watercolor.



  • @nyrrylcadiz @Whitney-Simms
    Haha well it is too late to pull back the foreground, but I didn't have the heart to take scissors to it yet! But I'm so glad you two spoke, because I felt uneasy about the crop.
    I've always liked pieces with long bare bottoms, so I'll keep playing with that idea.


Log in to reply