Rose in soft pastels 10x10

My finished rose…
Pastelmat light gray. Drawing is 10x10 on 12x12 paper.
critiques wanted.
Thank you.

4 Likes

Hi Sonia. Love the colors and textures. Background leaves are quite nice. In the shadows on the flower I think you should make the darks darker. That part looks a little flat and increasing the contrast will give it more dimension. That will also make the highlight areas stand out more.
Terri Robichon

1 Like

Hi Sonia,

That took my breath away! the softness of the roses is amazing

June

1 Like

@robichon
I see it! Thank you… I’ll repost when darkened
Sonia

1 Like

@junenez
Thank you! I just officially finished after getting the shadows darker. I knew it would make a difference.

1 Like

@robichon
Thank you for your advice. I really was a little scared to make it darker since I used dark green for shadows. But you basically gave me courage to push it…
one more thing…working with reds and greens next to each other plays tricks in color perception. Must be the contrast or whatever technical terminology it’s called…I had to stop and revisit a few times … crazy!
Sonia
Here’s the darker darks version. It makes me happy! :smiley:

2 Likes

Hi Sonia -
This looks much better. But, I believe (if you want to) that you can take it even farther, creating a still bigger range of values.

If you’re interested, I took your revised drawing and put it in photoshop. And like Matt does in the critique, I used the burn tool to show you what I’m thinking. Then put it into side by side comparison, your original on the left, your revised in the middle, and my suggestions on the right. You may even want to introduce something like a paynes gray or really dark brown to get those really dark values. But don’t use black.

Look at the “form” of “each petal” and make sure that is illustrated in the drawing. Remember to think of where the light is coming from (I believe from the left and above). The kind of vertical petal to the right of center could use darkening, on the side away from the light, providing more contrast from the part of the petal that the sun would hit. Then look at the central bud. It’ like a cone and the parts on the sides, especially the right side would be darker as it rolls into the center of the flower.

I even went a step further to look at the background. The leaves on the right side would be darker because the flower is blocking the light. Then the leaves that are on top stay light, while the leaves behind are shadowed and darker. Note: I made no changes to the lighter values in your drawing, but they begin to become more vibrant when the things around them are darker.

This is a time consuming process and a slight variety in color (not just red and green) will make it look more interesting and more realistic. Since I don’t have your reference, I can’t see those subtle color changes. That’s okay because it doesn’t have to be identical to the reference. That is just a starting point.

Hope this is helpful. Please note that your drawing is very nice. I’m just showing you how I think, and evaluate to bring the image to another level. These are the very same types of suggestions Matt has made to some of my drawings. It makes you think hard and to improve your observational skills.

Terri Robichon


1 Like

@robichon

I totally understand what you’re saying.
One thing I’ve been struggling with on this rose is stopping my brain from not letting me render what I see as opposed to what I think it should be like, even though as you pointed out, the shadows clearly need to be darker, it blows my mind how stubborn I can be with myself when I get the drawing in front of me and start applying darker values. I’m so glad you’ve taken the time to present the difference it makes to me, and help me stop overthinking it, and just see and do…

1 Like

Hi Sonia -

I really appreciate your reply because I didn’t want to offend you. But I know the effort you are making to improve your artwork, and sometimes we’re too close to see it ourselves. Deviating from the reference photo has been a struggle for me. It is only because of multiple times that Matt has critiqued my work on the Members Minute, that I’ve learned to stand back and take his advice. In the beginning we love everything we do and are proud of it, so it’s really hard to listen to the constructive criticism. Matt told me why my compositions needed improvement, and why my birds were looking flat (not 3 dimensional).

There was another artist that I have followed from time to time. She would always say when she was almost done with an acrylic painting, where can I make the lights lighter, and the darks darker.

When I’m drawing and painting, right from the start, instead of just drawing outlines, I evaluate adjacent areas and say to myself, which area is darker, so that I can use the value difference to establish the edge rather than a line that always looks like a line.

I hope that what I’m sharing with you will be useful to others. It’s also why I frequently suggest that members submit their original art to the Members Minute. It is a HUGE VALUE of membership. And we can learn from everyone. Sometimes it’s fun to guess what Matt will be commenting about. That will also help to improve our own skills.

Taking time to really observe is the secret to drawing and painting well. But Matt has also taught me to then take it to an even higher level, figure out the light source and the shape of an item, and deviate from the reference if necessary to make the light and shape accurate in the artwork.

Happy drawing my friend. The quality of your artwork has been consistently very high and impressive. I can’t believe it knowing what a relatively short time it has been that you’ve been creating art.

Say hi to your special daughter and have a great day!!!

Terri

1 Like

@robichon
Goodness! No offense taken whatsoever. Working with children has taught me to be honest and take honesty with an open heart. I think it helps their peers as well as themselves (me) to take advice given by others with more experience and knowledge. So, it all serves a purpose. Again, thank you! :blush:

Sonia

1 Like

Beautiful. I felt the softness of the rose. Thank you for sharing.

1 Like

@LindaE

Thank you. So nice of you !

Sonia

Beautiful job, love the contrasting leaves in the background, really gives the Rose depth.

1 Like

@robichon Friend and friends, what do you think?
I think I’m done. So-many-layers-later (believe it or not) I used dark green for shadows, then paynes grey, then darkest grey, then BLACK, then dark blue and dark brown, with several shades of red, plus light and dark purples, oranges, magentas, cream, white, light blue …. All that just in the rose itself
Here’s the finished product. :crazy_face:

1 Like

I’m so proud of you Sonia. You’ve got a much better range of values now and the flower is much more dimensional. Well done.

Terri Robichon

1 Like

@robichon
Terri,
The shadows on red have proven to be very difficult to tackle for me. The visual illusion or whatever it is called plays tricks on the darker shades you are applying making you see what is not there. With this morning’s light, the rose seems more muted than last night under the 5 daytime light bulbs from my kitchen light fixture. I give up

Sonia

1 Like

You’ve done well and learned much. You’re not “giving up” but rather moving on to the next challenge, bringing with you the concepts you just acquired. And for future reference, yellow is really difficult to handle with the shadow colors needed.

Terri Robichon

1 Like

Hi Sonia,

I think you did a wonderful job on this piece.

If I was to make one suggestion, I would say to make the value of the shadows in your flower a little darker, but that is just my thought.

I think you did a really exceptional job on the background, the flower too, just a little mor contrast in value would really make the flower pop!

Teri

1 Like

@TLP Teri,
I appreciate your suggestions very much. I have learned so very much with this rose. I never would’ve imagined it to be so challenging! I will definitely make a study before attempting any predominantly red subject before committing to the actual piece…

Sonia

@Meme5 @robichon

Hi Sonia I’ve just been reading this thread and I had to say how much I love your red rose and the improvements you made along the way. And also how lovely it was that Terri went above and beyond to give you such constructive criticism. I’m blown away by how generous this community is, with everyone supporting each other and I’m just so glad to be a part of it.
Cheers Cathy

2 Likes