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Hit and Run Smudging

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  • Hit and Run Smudging

    I’ve been smudging again, this is the final result. I need some feed back, so I posted it here. Is the background too much?

    This is a link to the art work:
    Lily No22.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Wow! That looks g-r-e-a-t! To my eye, the background looks perfect. It really makes the subject stand out.



    • #3
      Steve - your style is just wondferful. I down loaded the image because my browser does not re-size and I wanted to look at the whole picture.

      The flower itself is flawless - the lighting, color, brushstrokes just beautiful.

      But you asked about the back ground -- The detail you put into the leaves and stem seem to get lost in the multi colored background. A shame because the work in this section is stunning in itself.

      The transition of the multi color bottom to the upper background section of the image is also flawless - but the top part almost seems flat -- I can't put my finger on it --

      Maybe if the bottom colors were muted and the top section retained some of the other orinal colors (muted also) it would complement the flower more.
      Last edited by TwinbNJ; 06-05-2003, 05:30 PM.


      • #4

        Personally I like the background...includes both contrast color to set off the flowers and neutral gray to soften and blend it all. I see that you cut out the flowers and smudged them on a separate layer to keep the edges crisp...good idea!



        • #5
          Steve, wonderful rendition. I noticed that that you removed the blurry red colors in the back which is good. I think you should also tone down the green color because it seems to interfere with the stem and leaves of the flower itself.

          But the flower is perfect, as usual.



          • #6
            When it comes to the background, I share some of Jill's feelings. The upper part seems too uniform. Were it my image I might try something faint that involves render clouds to add some variety there. Or maybe something that involves a pattern derived from the original, but with the red color leaning toward maroon/brown. I just can't tell for sure without trying it.

            Moving from the top to the bottom, you go from too uniform to too photographic. I'm not saying the bottom looks like a photograph, but is shares more traits with an out-of-focus photo than it does with a background of a painting. In some ways I think this has a positive effect by bringing out the foreground (by adding depth), but I think moving the background completely into a painted look would add greatly to the image. Were it my picture, I might try something other than green at the bottom to make the stems show up more, but perhaps make it darker and a different color from the top, while still being a nondistracting transition from the top.

            That said, I think the flowers are stunning. Something in the way your strokes transform the image without being so strong that they distract, combined with your use of lighting (highlights) that add dimension. The result is a vividness that is greater than most paintings, but without being photographic.


            • #7
              Trimoon, you have really enhanced this photo! I think that the smudged version is visually more interesting than the photo and most of all, it does not look like an obvious digital that I mean, you do not instantly think "Smudged!" when viewing the image. It really reads like a painting.

              Your sense of color is also very well certainly did not settle for the colors in the photo!

              It's interesting that you mentioned the background...I think that's the weakest area of an otherwise strong image. Why do you even need a background? This might be more of a philosophical difference on my part, but why settle for an image that looks like an enhanced photo? (albeit, a very good one!). You have changed and enhanced the colors, textures and contrast of the original photo but left the composition exactly the same. Why not push the image beyond that? Perhaps eliminate the background altogether and crop in a bit on the flower? You might run the risk of it looking like a Georgia O'Keefe knock-off, but it would be a risk worth taking. When the image was loading in my browser I was thinking to myself that it would be nice if the entire background was that flat gray. There is a lot you could do with this beyond just enhancing colors and the wonderful brush strokes you have created.

              Thanks for posting a wonderful image!


              • #8
                A second try at the background… Thank you all for your advice


                Lily No22 B


                • #9
                  I prefer the first background. The second looks too unnatural. But then, many flower pics that you see as framed art or book illustrations do have a stark pasted-on-background look, so if you wanted that particular style, then it would be appropriate. But I wouldn't have chosen green. Maybe a faint colored gray or a neutral beige texture would be better.

                  Phyllis <-- really liked that first background!


                  • #10
                    The background sure is a tough one on this picture! I agree that the top color in the first version is too "flat", but I kind of like the leaves in that one. I don't mind that the stem seems to blend into them - that's how it is in real life. (Ever cut a stem in your garden only to find out it was the wrong one?! ) That said, the background leaves don't really look painted to me.

                    I like the texture and the slight variation in color of the second version. However, the color seems to compete with the flowers for attention. (Though perhaps that's just me b/c it's one of my favorite colors. ) I played around with a Hue/Saturation layer and found that I really liked a yellowish olive green - fairly muted. (Which is strange because I usually really dislike that color!) But in this case, it really seems to make the flowers pop!

                    My bottom line: the flowers are great! (Just like everyone else said.) But the background seems to compete with them instead of complement them.



                    • #11
                      Steve –
                      I am going to ask a question before I comment on the changes you made.

                      I felt the look you went for in the original post (BG) was wonderful and am confused why you went to a new style BG.


                      • #12
                        The reason I changed the backround in the second image was to see how it would look and to see if I could. Personally, I like the first image the way it is, but I got several comments on the green so I thought I'd give it a try. The original image I sold as is and as a one of a kind.



                        • #13
                          Thank you for your response.

                          I was interested in why you would have changed the original BG.



                          • #14

                            As far as the quality of the smudging, like Emeril would say....BAMMM, that is great.

                            I personally like the second version best. Can't really say why but I do. The background is less busy.

                            No matter what, the prints would sell well. Great work as always.


                            • #15
                              Note on selling

                              What I've been doing is I've been offering 5 by 7 images on 90lb Arches Watercolor Sheets, matted to fit in an 8 by 10 frame. If I sell it for less than $25 I will issue four more prints of that image. However, if it goes over $25, which this one went considerably over, I will not print it again and it will be one of a kind. People seem to like this idea and so far it's been working.


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