Log Bridge: #1

I wanted to practice figure painting a bit more, so I invented a scene, and tried to paint it. My idea was to try to paint a picture of a guy carefully walking across a log. It’s something I’ve done more than a few times fishing, but I’ve never photographed it, so I had to make the gesture up in my mind.

It took a bit of trial and error while I sketched, but I’m generally happy with the gesture I ended up with.

The image itself feels amateurish to me. Probably because I’m basing this on my imagination, and I don’t have a reference to look at. I should look around at more images of creeps and logs and things to try to get a better understanding of the atmosphere and perspective in this one.

Thanks to u/Lindenfoxcub on reddit for the suggested edits to the figure.

The biggest problem with this composition is that there’s just too much going on. I need to constantly remind myself to simplify.

I could easily blur the foreground tree and ground together into one shape. The distant trees behind the guy should be much more grey, and lighter in value.

The hills in the distance should be more neutral.

I should pay closer attention to where the light is supposed to be coming from, and use shadows to define the contours of the ground, instead of relying on lines and texture.

The stream is far too neat. It should blend into the ground, so it’s hard to tell exactly where the ground stops and the stream begins.

There are too many patches of competing value on the right of the figure, particularly under his arm. This is largely a result of tunnel vision on my part. Next time, I should simplify the background in order to help the figure stands out more.

I also have very few shadows here. Adding shadows would help make this a much more dynamic image, IL have to work on that for the next one.

All in all, this is a reasonably good gesture, but the other elements all read as flat, and uninspired. This will be a good one to try again after some study, and a few drawing


Here’s a quick sketch/study I did on my lunch break.

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