Early Morning Garden, oil on canvas, 20x16"

Early Morning at Kaiser Garden, oil on canvas, 20x16"

I think I’ve finished this painting (but then I thought that several times before). The last time I thought I was finished, I looked back at the notes I’d written opposite my journal sketch about what interested me in the scene and my goals for the painting. I saw I’d missed a point or two and worked on it some more.

Now I’d really appreciate some honest feedback:

Do you think it’s finished or does it still need something, and if so, what do you suggest to improve it?

This was painted with Holbein Aqua Duo water-soluble oil paints. It’s such a joy to oil paint without odor, to thin paint to a wash without solvents, and to mix water instead of turpentine with the Duo linseed oil to make painting medium. The pigment quality, drying time and consistency is identical to regular oils.

Art supplies, Landscape, Oil Painting, Outdoors/Landscape, Painting, Places
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Join the conversation! 13 Comments

  1. Hi Jana, Wow! What an interesting, strong composition. I like the suggestion of someone, perhaps, looking into the pond…that’s how I read the strong blue. It’s fun to have something implied in the painting. The colors are lovely and suggestive of morning. It has a finished look about it.

    • Thanks Peggy. The words “interesting, strong composition” mean a lot to me as I often struggle with composition in my paintings. What’s funny is the shadow you see of what might be someone looking into the pond is actually the shadow from the bird sculpture before I moved the bird from the left of the picture to the top. I decided to leave the shadow because it helped the composition and also because like you said, it can suggest someone over there casting a shadow. My biggest concern about the painting is that it’s too dark. I seem to have trouble with getting enough light into my oil paintings but I think I figured out why, and how to resolve it on my next painting. Jana

  2. I like this painting! I love the shadows and it really has the look of morning. I love the shadow on the bird and of the bird. I don’t see this painting as needing anything!

  3. Beautiful painting! I have a question about the bird though: Is it a real bird or one of those flat metal ones stuck in the ground? I think the bird looks a little flat. But maybe it’s supposed to?

    • Hi Raena, Yep, It’s a very flat bird sculpture made of rusty metal. I wonder what I might do to make it more obvious it’s a sculpture not a real bird. Maybe make some “holes” in it as a design so the garden shows through? Jana

  4. Maybe the bird…but: I think it´s absolutely fabulous!!!

    A painting is always finished when the artist considers it as finished…

    • Thanks Pascal, I guess that’s why I posted the question: as the artist I wasn’t completely satisfied with the painting, wanted more of a feeling of light in it, and wanted to see what others thought. Nobody’s commented on the light so maybe that’s just me. But the bird is actually a flat metal bird statue that clearly is not reading as one so I do need to do something to make that more obvious. Jana

  5. I like the idea of putting some rust holes in the bird or perhaps some texturing to show the rust pattern? I wasn’t sure if it was real or not …. could the rock behind the bird’s head be little less important to further define the bird… I think you have plenty of lights.

  6. This is a lovely painting and would grace any wall as it is restful yet interesting.

  7. What a comment!! Very informative… Looking for more posts like this!! Keep you the goodwork!
    Anyway thank you for this blog.

  8. Jana, this painting is definitely complete and has lovely movement in the flow of colours. The blue reflection in the water is beautiful and the bird and plants frame it very well. Lovely painting! All the best, Mark.

    • Thanks Mark, I enjoyed visiting your wonderful paintings of houses on your website. Nice site too! Actually I’ve started working on the painting you commented on again, trying to warm it up and vary and the greens more. I’ll be posting it again in a couple weeks probably. Jana

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