Deer Painting - How can I improve? [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Deer Painting - How can I improve?

04-13-2017, 11:53 AM
Hi everyone.
I have been painting for years but can never achieve the satisfaction I am aiming for.
I may be a perfectionist but would like to know how I can take my painting to the next level.
I attach a painting I am working on at the moment - it is not finished but already has issues I regularly encounter...
This painting is in Acrylic on Acrylic Board - A3.
1) The first issue I have is edges of the subject. I outline my sketch in pencil and have problems getting these lines to cover up afterwards.
2) I wonder when working with acrylics if you should work from dark to light or vice versa as I can not get the texture of the animals as realistic as I want.
3) Backgrounds - I never know when there is enough or too much detail in the background
4) Finally how can I refine my brush strokes to ma e the texture of the hide of the animals smoother and not so amateurish?

All feedback appreciated.
Please don't tell me it looks good - (I am not after appraisals - just solid informative criticisms please - I do not care if it hurts.):smile:
Thank you all in advance


04-14-2017, 06:51 AM
A lot of improvement can be made by better potraing the light in the scene.

04-27-2017, 12:12 PM
One question I have is are you painting by memory or do you have an image as a reference? A lot of times I struggle with shadows and how to make the painting feel more alive, I feel like working with shadows will help you a lot. Many what just mentioned :)

04-30-2017, 07:54 PM
I used a photo for the reference to the Deer but then used other pictures for idea on the landscaping composition because I did not like the one in the photograph.

In the end I painted the background Brown and then painted in the lights behind imaginary trees rather than paint the trees in themselves.

I sort of looked at the Negative areas instead and it seemed to work.

I consider this painting complete now because I am afraid that to make more detail of the background would be to bring it forward instead of keeping the Deer as the main focus.

All criticisms appreciated.

Susan Mulno
04-30-2017, 08:45 PM
This is a nice painting, the composition is pleasant, good choice of color, you have made the deer very proportional.

It still comes down to shadow and light, you will achieve more depth with them.

Is this painting representing a sunny day? or grey and dreary? The contrast of dark and light is what often separates us amatures from the masters.

I always suggest YouTube for learning, it is a plethora of outstanding artists sharing their abilities.

Looking forward to seeing more of your work. :smile:

05-01-2017, 12:02 PM
It turned out fantastic! I think the more you practice the better you get, at least that's how it is with myself. A tip that I can give you that has helped me is having a separate sketch book to use to practice and I agree with watching video's, those have helped me a lot as well.

Great Job :)

05-01-2017, 05:49 PM
I have an A3 scanner which I scanned and printed the artwork off before starting the background.
I then printed this out and experimented on the print before applying the idea to the real thing.
This is a handy idea because you can try several ideas and techniques out before spoiling the real thing.

05-02-2017, 08:11 AM
That's a great tip, I 'm glad everything worked out for you :)

05-03-2017, 09:39 AM
Looks great thus far; The only thing that distracts me in a negative way is the second deer's head. It does not seem finished.

06-13-2017, 04:57 PM
The antlers in my picture are in early season - they are best seen in the Autumn.
Antlers start of very much like fleshy horns at first and start to extend and dry out sometime around August.

09-14-2017, 03:35 PM
This is lovely...