Critique – Priscilla Trescott

Priscilla Trescott
Priscilla Trescott

Student’s Comments:

What I like:

  • The light colors
  • Loose brush strokes combined with more detailed work in foreground as you suggested.
  • Broken color
  • The depiction of a special memo for me.

What could be improved:

  • Everything could be improved. It’s hard to note one specific area over another. However, some of the shadows seem off and the perspective could be enhanced.
  • My goal is to become a colorist—using different colors to depict values rather than darks and lights of the same color.

Dan’s Comments:

What I like:

  • Great use of color saturation. Rich blues and yellows against pale oranges and blues.
  • Accurate value relationships (lights in relation to the darks). This goes a long way to give your work a sense of realism. If you get the values right, you have much more flexibility with the other elements.
  • The composition is unusual and interesting. It makes me want to climb those steps and see what’s around the corner. This is a great example of branching out from cookie-cutter compositions.
  • Good use of soft and hard edges to paint the architecture. It looks painterly yet rigid. Not easy to do.

What could be improved:

  • There’s a dull green shape that seems out of place. The color does not read well and my eyes cannot make sense of it. It’s too light given the context. Refer back to your reference and narrow down on what the issue might be.
  • The plants look a bit flat and rigid in some areas. A bit too neat perhaps?
  • I’m unsure about the cast shadows. I feel they are too weak or do not exist where they should. Check on the reference photo. This is not an obvious problem but rather something that comes to mind as I stare longer at the painting.

For inspiration, look into the work of John Singer Sargent and Joaquín Sorolla. They painted a few similar compositions.

Thanks Priscilla!