This week’s submission comes from Alina Apostol. She has painted this in Acrylics with the goal of mixing realism and fantasy. This is SUCH a fun piece, you just want to go to this location!! I love the colors used in the trees and grass!
I love this piece because with just a few minor adjustments we can add a lot more depth to it! First let’s look at the trees. Right now they are really sparse. That’s fine if you want sparse trees but they feel more like the artist is afraid to use enough paint. I see this a lot with students where they are so worried about overdoing it that they don’t finish an area. Start by getting some of the darker greens in, then go on top with your highlights. Don’t be afraid to get that paint onto the canvas!!
Next, your trees are painted in two main rows. The tiny ones in the distance, then the row up close. Get a third row at least that is somewhere between the two as far as size and value go to create a bit more depth.
The next thing I want to look at is the road. Now yes, there could potentially be a weird hill moving down like this, in reality, this just makes it look like it’s painted lopsided. When painting landscapes watch your roads/streams/rivers etc. Your horizontal lines will look better if you keep them more horizontal and less diagonal in areas like this.
The next thing I want to look at is the color and contrast in the foreground. Right now it’s very dull/muted. Hype up that contrast and pull out more yellows to let that area feel closer to the viewer. Don’t be afraid of that contrast!! Keep the background soft and muted to feel like it fades into the distance, but make sure to pull out the areas closest to the viewer!
You stated in your submission: “I would like to say that I am not satisfied with the wolf at all. It is my first one and I’ve realized that it is not easy to paint small animals. Also, I did not intend the wolf to be too realistic, but more of a shadow creature. Any tips on that?”
You’re right, painting animals in the distance is a challenge. The thing to remember is not to try and force too much detail. A wolf that far away you would not see the mouth on like this for example. The next problem with this is that if you had a white object in this scene, even close up it would not be so bright. Remember that white is not going to be white, it will pick up the colors around it. Only it’s lightest highlights would be this light. Put him in the distance and he would be even darker. Being that you want a shadow creature, why not use transparent mixing white and leave him semi-translucent instead? Now not only does he feel more like a shadow creature, but he’s not overwhelming the painting with that one single spot of BRIGHT white. You will need to make extra sure on something like this where you’re just giving the hint of an animal in the distance that your anatomy is more accurate as well. You can’t make up for any confusion about what the animal is with detailing so you need to have that outline perfect!
You’ve done a beautiful job on this painting, I especially love the rays of light coming through the trees, they are wonderful!!