Mvuu bus

Most of the workers at Mvuu camp live at home upstream from the camp and they get a ride by boat to and from the camp.  Here is a painting of the guys on the ferry home.  It seemed quite precarious but such a cool way to commute.  Something to think about next time I am stuck in traffic on the N2.  


There is a LOT of green and I started putting in too much detail, though I think the bush supports the boat so I will do it again taking more time on the greens and darks.  Also I think the colours in the men and the boat are bit too washed out.  

The painting is 760×570 mm which is a full sized sheet of Arches Cold Press (185gm)

4 thoughts on “Mvuu bus

  1. Hi Stephen,
    This is a lovely painting. You may be still too close to it to have shed the frustrations from painting it. Why don’t you put it away for a while and come back to it.
    If the washy quality of the men in the boat bothers you, you can come back in with some darker colours or more saturated ones. But I must say, when I looked at this, knowing your concern about it, I felt that they were perfectly in balance with the painting. If you get them much more saturated in colour or darker, they will pop forward and will be out of sync with the rest of the values in the painting.
    If you get more detailed in the foreground, it will draw the eye away from the remainder of the painting and the picture may become unbalanced (again tonally). So just leave those things alone.
    I’d be tempted to strengthen the colour of the water with a pale graduated wash where it joins the land in the far middle distance.
    On the other hand, with the image that I get on the Internet, not seeing the actual painting, I may not be seeing the real colours. I just felt that tonally it could have a bit more strength there.
    I hope you don’t mind me commenting like this. I think this is an excellent painting and I’d hate to think you would abandon it after such good success with it.
    BTW I quite often feel dissatisfied with a watercolour painting after I’ve finished it for just that same reason – that the colours seem pale or dull. I have to jog my memory that the glass for framing makes such a difference to how you see the painting. In Oil painting, you finish the painting with a varnish. The glass performs the same function for a watercolour. You may find that your colours become alive again if you only just put either plexi, or glass over it to see what it will look like if framed.

    • Hi K
      that is very useful feedback. Thank you for taking the risk of giving a crit on the painting. I will reflect on your comments and review the painting. You are right – it is too soon for me to judge the work.

      I keep thinking about the word you used to describe the other paintings from Mvuu – ‘charming’ – I like that.

      Thank you for your encouragement.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s