Recently, I did a Photoshop critique for one of my workshop students. I thought I would post it to show you how valuable PS is as a tool in this regard. I could quickly show Becky what I wanted to show her without touching her painting. This piece was one she started on location but didn’t have time to finish there. She was already having some issues though that we could address this way.
Here’s her painting, a scene in Glacier Park. The second image is my PS lesson or critique.
I am teaching another workshop in beautiful Big Sky, MT. Oct. 28 -30, 2016. If you’re interested in joining us, let me know.
My PS lesson:
MY comments were pretty wordy, but I’ll post in case you want to wade through this.
My critique: I think originally, your colors were overall too warm, with the distance being almost as warm as the foreground, and too close to the same color and value overall. To illustrate that, I grayed and softened the mountains on the left, but didn’t do so to the one on the right. for comparison. I think the one on the right still comes forward too much because it’s too warm. I also did some overall cool washes over things in the mid distance which helped bring the values closer together in each area. You can use red, blue, green, whatever on the slope of a mountain, but the values need to be very close to pull that off or the shape doesn’t hold together as a shape. I simplified the sky. Everything was the same busyness so that helped. It could even be a little lighter at the horizon, just in a few spots. I got rid of that hard edged shadow on that distant mountain. I think it was distracting as it was too hard and far apart value wise for something at that distance. White snow (on the distant mountains) is the only color that gets darker as it recedes – picking up the blue of the atmosphere. I added darker values to the water and some reflected color from the peaks above, and went much darker and closer in value with the pine trees. I also pushed them a little cooler, as the background’s still fairly warm. I brought the tip of the third tree from left above the shoreline so it wasn’t just touching (a point of tension) and added another little tree below the distant peak so the one tree wasn’t mirroring the shape, as we discussed. It can be so confusing – a warm background that does cool to make it recede. A cooler, darker foreground. But, I think it’s beginning to work. I think you need to push your focus area a little now – maybe a little brighter just in the spot where the white water reflection meets the pink mountain and the reflected background mountains, and at that same spot vertically in the sky where it meets the mountain. This has the potential to be a really nice painting!