Brenda Has sent me her painting of the leopard project and has asked for any tips I can give her to help improve the work, Brenda writes:
Do you have any pointers where I can improve this picture? You said about trying a different paper, I had some old Pastelmat from a Jeremy Ford DVD and tried the Leopard on it I don’t expect a comment from yourself but it does look a bit flat and I haven’t done a background. I will stick to Ingres.
Brenda has immediately solved one problem to use Ingres in the future, although I do know that many people have used Pastelmat with good results. There are several reasons for putting in a background. First of all it does enhance the picture, meaning you are able to fuse the image to the background colours, otherwise the work looks unfinished. Brenda’s Leopard is left wanting because she has not been able to do this, notice the hard edges of the image indicated by the black arrows above. There is also a third advantage that would solve another problem with the painting if a background was added to the Leopard picture. The light hair in the ear and other white areas would have benefited from a darker tone added as a background which would have brought those areas alive (see red arrow).
On the whole Brenda has done a good job of this subject but next time if my tips are taken up future pictures will be greatly improved.