Ethan’s Ollie

Here is a picture, below, I did of Ethan doing an Ollie on his skateboard:


I liked the dark background as it gave definition to his upper body and arms, which were light.  But I found the tree trunk offputting.

Here are the stages in the development of the first picture:

arley-ii-w     arley-ii-2w

I had a feeling the painting went downhill from the first one and wanted to preserve some of the freshness.

So I did the picture again:



The background is more suggested than described and I liked the figure better.  What do you think?  
Any comments on the comparison?


3 thoughts on “Ethan’s Ollie

  1. Hi Stephen,
    I really like this painting. First, you’ve caught an almost figure in motion in an almost impossible pose.Then your light works beautifully. And then, the drawing itself is elegant and loose. I love that highly defined shadow with varying colours in it; and I like the tree trunk. It echos the shape of Ethan’s back and the space between Ethan and the tree trunk serves to highlight the shape of the torso.
    Without the tonally dark tree, you would not have achieved the effect of brilliant sunshine on Ethan’s shirt and his arms.
    The composition works. It has the body going vertically and the arms going horizontally so the eye is kept comfortably occupied in the middle of the overall image.
    There’s good tonal balance and good texture.
    I sure hope you did this on good, acid free paper. What size is it?

    • Hi K – Another thoughtful comment – thanks, this is always special. Thanks for hopping around the platforms with me. I think this is the place to be now. I will bring my sunbather across next, with your comment if I can, that was really useful.

      So you think the tree trunk works – mmm – good I will reflect on that.

      The painting is done on 185 gm Arches Cold Press, my preference, and is 380x560mm – (a half sheet)
      that is about 15×22 inches).

  2. I often find that if I put away a painting for a few days, maybe even longer, that the frustrations from painting it have disappeared and I can look at it with fresh eyes.
    Often I will come up with the surprised reaction, “I painted that? I didn’t know I was that good!”
    Sounds a bit self congratulatory, but what I mean by that is, my feelings of frustration are no longer there and I can see it for what it is. Maybe it will need a tweak or two. Maybe just a mat or frame will make all the difference.
    Try it,

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