Critique – David Beese

David Beese
David Beese

Student’s Comments:

What I like:

  • Contrast from darker to light.
  • Simplified detail. Calmness.
  • Reference photo credit, Dan Scott (click here to see the reference).
  • 11 x 14 acrylic on canvas board.

What could be improved:

  • Probably even less detail to make it looser. Kept the branch in the pathway to symbolize an obstacle in the way.
  • Title: Walking to a brighter light.

Dan’s Comments:

Great painting. It’s similar to one that came off my easel not long ago, Mount Tamborine (featured in this month’s training report).

What I like:

  • At first glance, the painting just works. The colors are pleasing and the parts all seem to work together. This is a big tick.
  • You have an interesting and distinct style. It reminds me of Tom Thomson’s and Vincent van Gogh’s work.
  • Good balance between detail and simplification. With complex scenes like this, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the information. You did well to narrow down on the important stuff.
  • You transformed an average reference photo into a unique and interesting painting with a distinct style.

What could be improved:

  • The yellow and orange leaves in the background might be perceived as bright sunlight. That was how I initially interpreted the painting, as if it were late afternoon and the golden light is beaming through the trees. Perhaps the leaves might need to be more distinct, or you might prefer to leave them ambiguous.
  • The trees look a bit repetitive at the bottom. Can you melt the trees in with the surrounding landscape? Break up the edges in some places.

Well done David!