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Old 01-23-2007, 06:35 PM   #1
Janel Maples Janel Maples is offline
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Compositional critique requested




I hired a model who turned out to be a belly dancer. What fun we had.

Anyway, this photo kept talking to me so I did some experimenting with the Golden Mean (more like trying to figure it out) and came up with this composition.

This is really hard stuff for me. I've been working on it so long that my eyeballs are seeing spirals so now I don't know if I'm doing this right or not.

I'm looking for a confirmation that I did in fact apply this spiral properly or for someone to slap me along side the head and tell me to start over.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

: )
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:49 PM   #2
Terri Ficenec Terri Ficenec is offline
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Hi Janel--
Beautiful picture! I'm concerned, however, that you will find those 'chopped-off' arms problematic. . . especially the lower arm?
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:21 AM   #3
Janel Maples Janel Maples is offline
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Thank you Terri,

I am attaching another photo that I liked as much, if not more, than the first one but I couldn't get the spiral to hit her eye and have the curve fit with the flow of her arms as well. I do have a composition with this one (cropped) where the third line hits both of her hands and her gaze in in the corner of the third cross. The other third follows her left arm and crosses at her belly button (which I thought was fun) I could post that train of thought if anyone was interested.

This photo, you will notice is not an original photo. I took her head from the other photo and attached it to this body. And now that I look at what I posted, I see that this isn't the creation I ended up with because I also added a cool "tail" that was from another photo on the top corner of the veil. Minor point though.

I agree with you that the arms are questionable in the first one and my solution to that was to bring her back to re-shoot because the lower arm has an odd look to it and I couldn't really figure out what it was doing. I should have mentioned that I was troubled with it as well, but was more concerned that I was doing the Golden Mean thing properly.

I will be doing this painting as a combination painting from life and photo so I have options available to me.

I like the second photo (creation) because it includes the veil and her hands, but it would end up being a large painting if I wanted to paint just under life size, which is what I like to do. I like the first photo because it centers on her face more and would be a smaller painting in the end. Not to forget the spiral fit right where I wanted.

I'll be interested in reading what you have to say now.

: )

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:29 AM   #4
Janel Maples Janel Maples is offline
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Here is the photo of the creation I mentioned above (see the cool tail?)

This would turn out to be a 30" x 40" painting with a 5.5" head from chin to hairline.
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Old 01-24-2007, 12:54 PM   #5
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Janel,

You're doing a very good job on this project. I would focus on the second image (just because it could be a smaller canvas) with a couple of notes:

Don't let yourself get too close to the top of the canvas and don't let the scarf, as it does in places, become too light in relation to the girls face. I don't particularly care for the pattern the scarf makes with the canvas edge at the top left of the third image.

Also, I wouldn't allow the geometry above to drive your thinking to the point of distraction from what could otherwise be a nice composition. Sometimes those things fall right into place, and sometimes not.
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:06 PM   #6
Claudemir Bonfim Claudemir Bonfim is offline
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I agree with Mike's suggestions.

That's a great composition, don't worry, it'll turn out to be a great painting. Don't worry about her right arm either, but don't forget about the space between her left hand and the frame point.

Happy painting.
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:13 PM   #7
Claudemir Bonfim Claudemir Bonfim is offline
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Ps.
You're really lucky to find such a pretty model. I've been looking for right one for a long time. I'm composing a sunflowers field and I need a lady, now I decided to use a 5 year old girl, I hope that'll turn out to be a good one like yours.

I'm really looking forward to seeing your finshed painting in the unveilings section.

C. ya.
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Old 01-25-2007, 06:34 PM   #8
Janel Maples Janel Maples is offline
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Thanks Guys!!

I'm glad you like the photo. It is nice to get a confirmation that others like the image as well and that I am on the right track.
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