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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picture frame Horse Cloud Ecoregion Nature
I entered this in a leather competition and the judge's critique said it had poor composition. I had done an actual place on a river near where I live, which may have been one mistake. When designing I tried to think of the 3rds rule. Anyway, this is a leather carving and is handled differently but the composition part I thought maybe someone here could give me advice on where I went wrong. Thanks.
 

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More than 40 years since I worked leather, and I know how difficult it can be, especially when using it as a surface on which to paint. I don't think you went wrong with any aspect of the work.

Composition is good. Rule of Thirds is well-used. Even use of Divine Proportion works well.
Elements and shapes are well formed - horses, clouds, tipis, water, etc. are well rendered and as close to realistic as can be done with leather.
Values and contrast are effectively used. Lights are where they should be and so are the darks.
Without seeing the knife/stamp work, the painting has a wonderful 3D effect.

Tell that judge he is full of excrement that is obviously clouding his vision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
More than 40 years since I worked leather, and I know how difficult it can be, especially when using it as a surface on which to paint. I don't think you went wrong with any aspect of the work.

Composition is good. Rule of Thirds is well-used. Even use of Divine Proportion works well.
Elements and shapes are well formed - horses, clouds, tipis, water, etc. are well rendered and as close to realistic as can be done with leather.
Values and contrast are effectively used. Lights are where they should be and so are the darks.
Without seeing the knife/stamp work, the painting has a wonderful 3D effect.

Tell that judge he is full of excrement that is obviously clouding his vision.
[/Q
Thank you. Now I won't be wondering what I did wrong every time I look at it. It was driving me nuts about the composition part. I had never gotten such a scathing critique in my life and refused to enter any show he was judging after that. Only thing he liked was the frame. As in many different kinds of competition if the judge also works in the same line it is a way of keeping someone down. I had pretty much decided to quit competing anyway as I teach others figure carving. But after that I had to enter one more time with 2 small pieces to see if I was losing my touch. One took 3rd place and the other a 2nd in international competition. About 50 entries so I was well pleased. Now, with your kind comments, I am at peace with it all.
 

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I paint mainly in oils and acrylics, but use a load of other mediums when I feel like it.
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Probably the judge didn't like that the whole image is treated the same way and couldn't see it as a stylistic choice. Win some, lose some. Just say, 'thank goodness we all have different tastes or we'd be all painting the same.'
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for offering your point of view. I agree art is subjective and judges are sometimes swayed by their own tastes to a point and I have been a judge myself. Been competing for years, carving styles change, color, no color, western (leather after all), modern, what they look for most, etc. Only real problem I had was with the composition thing.
 
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