Critique – Sue Gibbons

Sue Gibbons

Student’s Comments:

What I like:

  • I am pleased with the sky. The leaves on the trees turned out okay. I like the overall look of the painting done with a palette knife.

What could be improved:

  • The tree branches are stiffer than I had hoped. The tall dead grass is a little lame.

Dan’s Comments:

Hi Sue!

What I like:

  • Love the thick texture of your paint and how you used different texture and brushwork to match different areas. 
  • The colors are distinct and crisp. Gives the feel of a clear, sunny day. 
  • You did well painting the gaps (negative space) through the trees and leaves. This creates a subtle link between the trees and the background. 
  • The clusters of leaves have a good sense of organization and structure.

What could be improved:

  • The clouds could use cleaning up. They appear too flat and solid. Consider softening a few edges. 
  • The brushwork for the grass is a touch repetitive. Mix it up. You could use horizontal brushwork around the middle to help lead our eyes through the painting. 
  • The tree trunks and branches look too stiff and straight. I would inject them with more variance in terms of shape, direction, color, etc. Make parts of the trunk thicker and parts thinner. Add more pivots and changes in direction. Use multicolored strokes to add subtle color variance and to suggest bark and tiny shadows. Try to create the illusion of all the detail. 

Thanks Sue! For inspiration, check out Isaac Levitan and Ivan Shishkin (and any Russian landscape painter really).