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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm so excited, I just realized this forum existed today! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Okay, I'm new to painting. I just can't seem to get the painting to look like anything other than a flat painting. This is <a href="http://s3.excoboard.com/forums/3647/user/21931/21799.jpg" target="_blank">the painting</a> I am working on, would love some suggestions on how to add more depth. Also, should I outline the baby and possibly the flower in a fine black line to distinguish it? I just don't know how to get it to look the way I want. Any suggestions would be helpful. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><b><span style="color:#FF0000;"><b><br><a href="http://s3.excoboard.com/forums/3647/user/21931/40109.jpg" target="_blank">Updated painting!</a></b></span></b>
 

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The thing about art is there is no right vs wrong way to do it.<br><br>
If you outline it with black it will become more iconic ang graphic. If you're aiming for a more photorealistic image then you will want more shading.<br><br>
Right now it looks like you're emulating <a href="http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/rousseau/" target="_blank">Henri Rousseau</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I had thought about more shading too. I just haven't figured out how to do it...<br><br>
Thanks for the link about Henri Rousseau, I can see how my painting reflects his style. This happens to be my 3rd painting, but the other 2 are also clear cut images even though I've tried to shade one of them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Great start! Having more values will strengthen your painting. I would not mix with black, but instead dark colors or compliments. Make a gradation test strip on some bristol board, if you are not sure about mixing colors. Also, using your values to create contrast (putting light next to dark) with help create distinction of the subjects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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<div style="font-style:italic;">Great start! Having more values will strengthen your painting. I would not mix with black, but instead dark colors or compliments. Make a gradation test strip on some bristol board, if you are not sure about mixing colors. Also, using your values to create contrast (putting light next to dark) with help create distinction of the subjects.</div>
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Thanks, I had to look up what you meant by value and graduation strip. I really am new to this and I don't have the patience or want to read a "how to" book. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I think I get what you are saying...now if I can just do it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Something one of my art teachers told me is to avoid plain black as often as possible. If you are going for a really deep dark color, mixing in blue with your black or purple or even green will make it look much darker.<br><br>
It's a good rule of thumb to always think about making your brights brighter and your darks darker. Bright doesn't mean adding more white, as this creates a kind of "pasty" look (I always got slapped on the wrist for this).<br><br>
You've got a great way of creating your own depth, though. With the subject in the front with the most detail, and as the objects losing detail as they go further back.<br><br>
Is that acrylic?
 

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If you mix some of that green and some of that red color together you should get what's called a chromatic grey--you can use that for shadows. You can mix different ratios of red<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/greenthumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="GreenThumb"> to get different nuances of shading.<br><br>
Shadows and highlights (where light reflects brilliantly off an object) will give the painting more of a three dimensional feel.
 

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I am going to reply without reading other replies...just so it is instant reaction for you....<br><br>
I. Add shadows to the baby. Make areas in front lighter (a lighter skin tone) and areas in back darker (a darker skin tone). Example: arm. Arm lighter, area it is resting against - darker. This will add depth. Feel free to try it out on paper first. Consider doing the same to the flower.<br><br>
2. Add a bit more variety to the background - perhaps a yellow/white wash in one area to add variety of colour?<br><br>
IF this is a first-ish painting it is very good!<br><br>
Welcome to the addictive world of painting!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Kathy
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all so much! I'm finding all these comments VERY helpful. I'm loooking forward to finding some time to try the suggestions. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
alyrie: No, it's oil. But I don't like the thick quality of oil, so I've been using something to thin it out and make it dry faster. So if you don't add white to make colors brigher, what do you do??? I also just realized you are the same mom from the "Taking Birth Back" thread! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
BelgianSheepDog: Shadowing seems to be the hardest thing for me. I've never quite got the hang of putting shadows in the right place. Will try mixing those colors to get that grey.<br><br>
kathymuggle: I like your suggestions on shadowing, I'm a bit nervous about actually doing it. Not sure if I can fix things if I really mess it up.... As for the yellow/white wash... that's interesting. Would you only add it in the lighter green area (not where the grass blades are)... say behind the flower maybe in a corner and blend throughout the background? I think you are right that I need to add a bit more variety of color.... just not sure about how to do it. And thank you, yes, this is a first-ish painting. My 3rd-ish. Also working on another painting at the same time.... So depending on which gets finished first it will be either 3rd or 4th. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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neat. i didn't even notice the baby at first, then i read that it was a baby and then relooked at it- i love that painting cause during my UC i imagined that my body was opening like a blooming flower opens and that my baby was coming out of a flower bud-just like your painting. what was your inspiration for this?
 

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a very basic tip for doing shading is to pick where your light source is coming from in this painting; then make that side or angle of the objects the lighter tones and the other side darker; you will then see the dimension coming out.<br><br>
As for adding more colors, I think all the green could be a great place to add colors; blues and yellows and even some pinks; when we look at things, they arent just one color, usually. They are a combination of many many colors so add little bits of different colors throughout; especially if you have the color elsewhere like your skin tone and pink flower colors; I think that will help alot.<br><br>
It is a fabulous first painting though, and how fun that its birth art!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>reducereuserecycle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8686878"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">neat. i didn't even notice the baby at first, then i read that it was a baby and then relooked at it- i love that painting cause during my UC i imagined that my body was opening like a blooming flower opens and that my baby was coming out of a flower bud-just like your painting. what was your inspiration for this?</div>
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That's exactly it!!!! It was one of the images I used for my last birth! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> It was one of the things that got me through 60 hours of back labor. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay, painted more yesterday. <a href="http://s3.excoboard.com/forums/3647/user/21931/40109.jpg" target="_blank">Here is the updated painting.</a> Almost done! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Oh, yes! It's looking sweet, mama!
 
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