A Student Critique

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.

Becky’s piece:
screen-shot-2016-08-12-at-4-36-18-pm

My PS lesson:
screen-shot-2016-08-12-at-5-57-20-pm

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!

Posted in Student Critiques, Workshops

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Laurie Stevens

Recent Accolades

2018 – I was chosen to grace the “Classic Moments” page of the July / August 2018 Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. This is the last page of the magazine and a full page spread! My painting, “The Artist’s Wife”, 32×24, was my response to a painting of the same title by William Merit Chase, done in 1892. – https://fineartconnoisseur.com/category/magazine/current-issue/

2018 – “An Early Breakfast” was juried into the NOAPS 2018 Best of America Small Painting National Exhibition at Richland Fine Art in Nashville, TN. April 30 – May 26, 2018 – http://www.noaps.org/copy-of-best-of-america-prospectus

2018 – Portrait Society of America – 6×9: Limited Size, Unlimited Talent Mystery Art Sale, April 20 at the Art of the Portrait Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. – http://www.portraitsociety.org/

2017 – C.M. Russell Museum Auction “The Russell” – http://www.cmrauction.com/

2017 – Dinghies and U-Turn were juried into the National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society Holiday Small Works Show in Parkville, MO. – https://www.noaps.org/holiday-small-works-show

2017 – Portrait Society of American Members Only Competition Finalist in the “Outside the Box” Figurative Competition – for “Mourning Dove” 36×24 – https://www.portraitsociety.org/moc-2017-winners

2017 – Two pieces juried into the National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society Holiday Small Works Show – https://www.noaps.org/holiday-small-works-show

2016 – Portrait Society of America “Members Only Show” – I placed in the Landscape Division with my painting “Milk and Honey”! See the images on the slider. – http://www.portraitsociety.org/moc-2016-winners

2014 – Spring, 2015 – Juried into the Spring American Women Artists Online Juried Show. http://www.americanwomenartists.org/news/html/t_oli_2014_fall.html

2014 – Juried into the Fall NOAPS International Online Showcase. http://www.noaps.org/html/t_oli_2014_fall.html

2014 – Juried into the American Women Artists National Competition & Exhibition, Orleans, MA.www.americanwomenartists.org

2014 – Chosen to be an “Art in Action” Artist for the Russell Auction event at Meadowlark Country Club, Great Falls, MT., Mar. 21www.cmrussell.org/the-russell

2013 – Juried into the American Women Artists National Competition & Exhibition, Fredericksburg, TXwww.americanwomenartists.org

2012 – A piece of mine, “Motel Galata” was selected to be part of the permanent Modern West Collection at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA! www.boothmuseum.org/

2012 – Top 100 Paint the Parks National Competition (2 pieces) www.paintamerica.org

2011 People’s Choice Award at the Clymer Museum of Art Exhibit & Auction www.clymermuseum.com

2008 C.M. Russell Museum CEO Award – given to one Russell Auction participant www.cmrussell.org

2008 – 2010 Paint America Top 100 www.paintamerica.org

About Me

Stevens’ work reflects the small daily wonders of the land she calls home: the first crocus of spring, the resilient beauty of the plains, or that special sense of hope and possibility that is only found in the West. Stevens is also interested in regional history, particularly the interactions of Native Americans and white settlers during the Reservation Period. Many of her paintings are an exploration of this dynamic and a meditation on the “taming of the West.” From Billings, MT, Laurie began her career as an artist in Los Angeles where she spent 12 years working for the entertainment industry as a scenic artist and muralist for television, theme park, theater and movie productions. She spent time as a member of the Walt Disney Imagineering team, lending her talents to many Disney theme park projects worldwide. She also did some set design, illustration, and matte paintings for several animated childrens’ movies. In the 1980’s Stevens returned to her native Montana, first to the mountains near the Scapegoat Wilderness and then to the ranch near Great Falls where she currently lives and works.

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