Sunday, July 18, 2010

Our Visit to Kirstenbosch

At the end of our Summer, I took some photos whilst sitting at the exhibition at Kirstenbosch.  There was a group of pre-school and school children out for the day being shown the sites and sounds of our wonderful botanical gardens.

I posted one painting I did of three of the little ones sitting on the steps, and this is another one, this time of five of the youngsters resting their weary little bones after traipsing around the gardens.

I took me a long time to finish this.  I did a lot of scraping off and repositioning, but finally got it more or less where I wanted it.  Not 100% happy, but can't figure out what is lacking!  Any help out there?

39 comments:

Carol Blackburn said...

Really nice one, Liz. Most people are afraid to attempt one face in a painting, you've done 5; and beautifully I might add. Hope you are well.

Ajay Patil said...

lacking? hhmmm , I can't find anything..its perfect

Benny and Lily said...

Its beautiful but they look a little scared and lost. Love
Benny & Lily

SKIZO said...

Exquisite
Work

good
sources
of
Inspiration

Rosemary said...

Liz, I love this one! The little faces are beautiful and the expressions delightful! Love the body language, the shoes - what a great job with the background, the foreground - it's a WOW!

Celeste Bergin said...

Hey Liz..a lot of your blues seem on the bright side. The clothing competes a little with your beautiful children. So, as an experiment, to see if you agree the clothing might be what you are troubled by....do this: mix a touch of orange paint into some liquin painting medium and paint it over some or all of the blues. Orange is the compliment of blue so it will "knock down" the blue to make it look more natural. Remember, it only has to be a little orange, not a lot..you're just adding a layer over your previously dried work..What's great is... if you do not like the result you can take mineral spirits and wipe off the layer.
It's a very good painting--complex! You did a great job with it!

Anthony Duce said...

It's great to see you painting figures. The expressions are great. I like this a lot.

marty said...

Liz, c'est absolument magnifique, plein de vie - les enfants, les marches, les arbres à l'arrière plan - congratulations - it's really gorgeous !!
bisous chauds de l'été français !!

Pam Holnback said...

you are so ambitious to try this. I would have avoided a piece w/ so many figures. As far as what's lacking...I think the clothes are too strong. They're fighting the kids. I looked at the blue before I looked at the faces.

Marian Fortunati said...

I love the groupings, too... As others have said the faces convey a wonderful variety of expressions..
Well done, Liz!

Artscapes said...

Love the composition. I was thinking the same as Celeste although I didn't have a solution.

Dean H. said...

Very nice painting, Liz.
Celeste makes a good point.The same light blue is in all the pants and three of the tops to some degree. Maybe try the orange glaze for some...completely different colors for some. Just a thought.
You don't really need to change a thing and it's still a very engaging painting. :)

Becky said...

I can't tell you what's lacking. They sure are cute little kids!

Avocaken said...

Maybe if one or two of the children had different color clothing? The "debluing" the blues with orange is good. I use glazes for this purpose quite often. Sometimes I use a glaze to darken the water under a small boat as one of my friends suggested! :-) :-)

Ken B.

padmaja said...

Liz, attempting to do so many faces in one composition must be applauded first, the faces turning in different directions, the language of the hands and the legs, give out a sort of moving energy though they are all sitting down, very well done. Having said that, I thought that if the blue background was a little darker, that would bring them all out.. Celeste's tip is a nice one.

Nancie Johnson said...

I like this one too! The little faces, the body language - love the red shoes added to the one! Great painting!

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

very very nice

AutumnLeaves said...

I think it is awesome, Liz. Truly a beautiful and poignant piece.

Shelley Smart said...

Hi, Liz, I'm new to blogging, but wanted to say hi!

I really like this painting! I like how you positioned the kids across the steps. Very charming!

Cathy Gatland said...

I was wracking my brains trying to think of what to suggest here Liz -this is a wonderful painting, lovely figures and composition. I wonder if you took the trees out and just had the outline of the children as a strong shape against the sky...? Then it would be a more limited palette with just the red shoes as a splash of colour... but if you ask 100 people you may get 100 opinions, and honestly, it's great as it is!

Chambers Art Studio said...

Awesome picture Liz, would love to see it when you have made the changes Love Glenda

Art with Liz said...

Hi Carol and thank you. I enjoy faces so didn't think twice at what I was trying!


Hello Ajay, nice to have you back! And thank you.

Art with Liz said...

Hi Benny and Lily! I think they were just a bit tired - a bit like after you've been for a loooong walk!


Hello Skizo - thank you so much.

Art with Liz said...

Gosh Rosemary, that was really a nice comment. Thank you so much.


Ah Celeste, you are a Star! I am going to try that soonest! And I will put the altered one up as soon as I'm done. Thank you.

Art with Liz said...

Hi there Tony - like you I love painting faces and figures - maybe faces more than figures, but love the form of both animals and humans.


Merci Marty - they were quite cute sitting there on those lovely old stone steps at Kirstenbosch!

Art with Liz said...

Hi Pam, thank you and I'm going to try Celeste's advice - seems like you're all on the same page!


Dear Marian, thank you so much. Not quite plein air yet!

Barbara Pask said...

What a wonderful painting, my eye just moves from one sweet little face to another. Love the blues.

Art with Liz said...

Thank you Elizabeth. I will be toning down that blue!


Hi Dean. I'm going to try the orange as Celeste recommends - as she says I can always rub it out and, as you say, try a different colour glaze. Thank you for your great input.

Art with Liz said...

Hey there Becky - thank you dear friend.


Hi Ken - yes it's going to be a glaze - did that friend's suggestion work??

Art with Liz said...

Gosh Padmaja, I'm going to try the glaze first, then re-look the background as you suggest - never thought of that. In fact I brought more sky down to try and frame the faces a bit more - let's see what happens with the glaze first.


Thank you Nancie, for the lovely comment and the visit. I saw your "hippie feet" on the Calypso Moon blog and loved it.

Art with Liz said...

Hello Laura, thank you very much!


Dear Sherry, thank you so very much for always being there and leaving such lovely,encouraging comments. Bless you.

Art with Liz said...

Hello Shelley, I've been popping into your blog for a while, just loving the sea and beach pics you take. A beautiful place to live. Thank you for visiting me and leaving your kind comment.


Hi Cathy, I've had such wonderful suggestions, so am going with Celeste's first and then will relook the background/sky as both you and Padmaja suggest. I thank you so much.

Art with Liz said...

Hey there Glenda! As soon as I've done the glaze, I will add it to the bottom of this post. Hopefully by tomorrow!

Sharon Wright said...

Brilliant, made me smile, such lovely faces.

Marie Theron said...

Delightful, Liz. I love the body language of these little ones. You have depicted it so well!

Judybec said...

Liz-- I think you've done a marvelous job with this painting! I too was racking my brain to find a way to improve it.....hmmm...the only thing I could come up with is this suggestion--
--break up the foreground steps a bit by putting the children on different planes instead of all sitting on the same step. Maybe move the boys in the middle to the front(?) and use the greens in the background to echo their shapes.
Or maybe if one child was standing it'd be easier for the eye to flow over the foreground steps into the picture. But... that sounds like a whole other painting.... so I'll be quiet and just enjoy the marvelous job you've done here. Really is nice! and the blue in the clothing doesn't bother me at all. Keep painting -- your work is beautiful!

Fábio Cembranelli said...

Dear Liz...Lacking? Your composition is great, I love the faces, expressions... maybe..I would add a different color in the sky, just to add more contrast... But I like it, it's a original very well done work, congrats.

Art with Liz said...

Hi there Barbara. Don't know how your comment landed up in the middle of things, but thank you so much!


Sharon, the master of the human form! Thank you, thank you.

Art with Liz said...

Ah Marie, thank you! I know you know Kirstenbosch so you will recognise exactly where they are!


Wow Judy, you certainly thought about that! Thank you for your wonderful input - but I don't think I have the patience to start all over again! I will bear what you say in mind though, for future reference.


Hello Fabio, I hope you enjoyed your trip to Europe! It sounded like to you had a great time. And thank you so much for the great comment on my work. Really appreciated coming from you.