Community Critiques

I  know that it takes some guts to share your work, especially if you aren’t on solid ground, but trust me when I say that you won’t be sorry if you do. This website is a place of supportive, creative incubation. I won’t let it be anything else! ​
-Marla
I always fuss over water. I get concerned that it won't look real. When I stand back, though, it looks much better than up close. In the purple one, I kinda wish I hadn't tried to put in those sparse sprigs in the water near the foreground. I should have just left that alone. I guess since I am still a beginner, I try to put in more detail than I need to. I'm gradually learning to simplify.
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HI Marla, Here's 3 more paintings. I'm trying to get at a minimum one done per week. Hope you are well. all the best, Mark
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Another fun lesson! I was skeptical on the bright colors but I like it now. Carole
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Hi Marla, The submittal with the cliffs was a real challenge and I’m still not really satisfied. Originally, I did one on a square format and that really didn’t work! The one I submitted is a 9x12. I included the photo reference too. Maybe it’s better as a photo! The ocean scene was just a fun abstract style on dark Uart from a photo reference again. Thank you
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Hi Marla, Here's a cardinal and then a couple studies. One study where the goal was to use mostly red and green subjects, and the other to use yellow and purple. I'm still having trouble getting the photos to look like the paintings though. I'm using my Nikon 610 so I know the camera is good....I guess I will have to read up on how to photograph artwork....any suggestions? thanks, Mark
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Hi Marla- This was a lot of fun! I used gamsol on demo and then decided to try a dark paper since I wanted to do a quick study without waiting for it to dry. I’ll try another with alcohol. Carole
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I spent more time on this than I planned but I just get caught up in the work and forget the time! I just love painting in any medium. I am submitting the actual photo and the finished work. I love watching you work and am learning so much from you.
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Hi Marla, Here's my next submission of some seascapes. I look forward to your thoughts and suggestions. all the best, Mark
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Hi Marla, Here's 3 of my latest paintings. I'm so happy I started using pastels... I love them. I plan on trying to alternate between oil and pastel. Not sure how I will like going back to oils but thought I should try since I dedicated 2018 to pastels.
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Happy New Year Marla- I got back to my painting after the holidays- missed it! I love playing with the colors. I need some work on my river shapes but I’m getting there. Thanks- Carole
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Hi Matla, Attached you will find my effort for the independence assignment "Water & Reflections", as well as a copy of one of your croped reference photos and my sketch. I know that the piece isn't rendered in a "loose" style; however, I enjoyed painting the details. Happy New Year, Don
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Hi Marla- First I want to say how much I am enjoying your videos! It is very meditative for me during a holiday time when I am missing my husband. I lost him November 2017 and golf and painting have been part of my recovery. I really struggled with these clouds so I thought it was time to get some pointers. I guess because you make it look so easy, I was thinking the same for me 😁. Thanks Carole
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Hi - just finished your Winter Glow lesson. still struggling with negative space, getting it right the first time, - fussing. This was the first time I've worked on tinted paper - a dark paper is not a good choice for snow scenes I think! Still problems with the sledding painting, and the lesson copy lesson painting is too dark and too purple... but time to move on. But, much learned with each attempt. Looking forward to being your student!
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Hi Marla, I have resubmitted the mountain scene , rearranging Th foreground trees like you suggested and the lit path scheme where I gave mor the illusion of the path continuing. I also tried another urban scene, which was incredibly challenging but I’m pretty satisfied. The ocean scene is also here, s bigger painting than the study aat 12x16. Thank you.
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Marla, in addition to the Part 1 'follow along' abstract field, I am also submitting 1) A raining cloud done on 9 X 9 storm blue Colourfix paper (I copied this painting from artist John O'Grady) 2) abstract beach done on 9 X 9 rose grey colourfix (I copied this painting from artist Lisa Ridgers) and 3) another stormy abstract field which I did from a landscape photo I found on the internet. The paper I used was colourfix, but I do not remember the paper color. I feel like I needed to include another element or band of color in this painting in retrospect to give it more interest. In the photograph, there were backside figures of a man and small child walking in the field. I did not have enough confidence to add the figures when I did the painting, but I am getting more confident every day. In all 4 paintings, I used Sennelier, Terry Ludwig, and Nupastels.
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Hi Marla! Love Your Work and Thank You for all of your most generous lessons! ... I did these painting about 6 months ago. Just trying to get into a groove here and develop a consistent practice. Thank You for your time. ... Sarah Neglia.
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The first image is the follow along, 12x12 in., on NuArt 400 paper. The second is 9x12 in. on Wallis paper, done from a photo of a stream not far from Tucson The Third is on 12x9 in. Ampersand Pastel board. It had a watercolor underpainting, but I covered up most of it with pastel. The last one is also on the pastel board, 12x9 in. On this one, I left most of the watercolor underpainting showing and used pastel for detail and contrast. These last two were done from memory and some photos taken during the years I worked in the Canyon--real places with a lot of artistic license. The pastel board is my favorite surface for watercolor underpainting. It creates some great textures that I then hate to cover up--I feel I need to work on creating underpaintings which lay a foundation for the pastel rather than a painting that stands on its own. The Desert Stream one feels overworked to me--I sprayed it with workable fixative, and that created a strong texture that I had a hard time covering. The trees don't have that light, feathery look of desert trees that I love. Have a great Thanksgiving--no hurry on the critique! Julia Graf
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First photo: Part 1 - Flower Field Follow-Along Demo on 12" x12" white Pastel Premier sanded paper. Second photo: Part 2 - Independent Assignment. My rendition of Nel Jensen's Poppy Field done on 11" x 14" white Pastel Premier paper with an alcohol under-painting.
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HI Marla, The ocean painting is a small study which I am now doing on a large scale. Its on black paper. The forest scene is a piece that I decided to do on black paper , high chroma. The building is from an art center near here, very old buildings. I forced myself to do since buildings and people are my two most dreaded subjects. The more abstract ocean scene was done at a workshop
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Hello Marla Thanks for this lesson! I'm back!
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Hello Marla, Trees and Skies, copies of you and two of me. What I really like about following the lessons is all the material to look at. I learn a lot from the critics at the bottom of the lessons! What strikes me about myself! I lose myself too much in reproducing your work in the red tree. The sky just like that. The second photo from the skies is my view of the gallery I live on the second floor. I look quit near the next lesson ´ flowers´ were kind regards from, Wies
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I had fun doing these. It was a very good lesson demonstrating how one can use color to create very different looking paintings from the same basic scene. I feel like I am slowly getting a better understanding about how to apply pastels. I realize I still have a long journey ahead, but I feel so grateful to have found such a good teacher through the magic of the internet. There was no one for me locally that teaches pastels.
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I submitted two St Moritz , one small study and one larger . The small was on natural Uart and the other was on charcoal paper. The trail scene was an enlargement of the one I submitted last time with more light in the center, as you suggested.
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Hello Marla,, This time I send 3 works of 3 lessons for criticism because I want to know if I`m progrsssing. I watch your videos different times and enjoy them verry much Kind regards, Wies
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Hi Marla I would appreciate a Critique on Lesson 12, please. I have so far,not done many " still life "; but I do enjoy this ! With thanks and regards. ALAIN
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Firsally submitting some work. All small studies
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Hi Marla, Please critique this abstract landscape. Thanks! Nancy Komick
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Painting clouds looks easy, but for me, it is not. I have a hard time keeping my fingers off of them, but I seem to be able to make them look more realistic that way. I am hoping a little more practice and experience will overcome the fingers!
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Hi Marle, The first photo is a copy of my rendition of the Abstract Field exercise.done on 9" x 9" white Pastel Premier paper. The second is a copy of my rendition a cropped version of one of your referenace photos. it is 9" x 9" done on brown Pastelmat. I have attached a copy of the reterence photo. I like the feel the the Pastelmat paper versus the medium grit surface of the Pastel Premier paper. Don .
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Hi Marla, Both of these paintings are 9" x 9" on sand colored paper.
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Hello Marla, I wish yoy a nice trip. Lesson 6 I work wiht the next merkel, Rembrandt, schmincke en sennelier. In the 3rd photo I did not succeed in applying texture to the last layer, did I continue too long? Kindly greeting Wies
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Marla, I use four of your photo,s as a exemple! I have adjusted them,les than an hour worked each! Worked with pleasure Greetings from Wies
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Hi Marla, I'm happy with the apple but was unable to find the right color pastels for the red-orange combinations for the pear. I feel that right side of the pear is too dark. Don
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Marla, I did both of these paintings on Canson Mi-Tientes paper, because it was all I had on hand. I have the sanded papers you suggested on order from Blick, which I should be receiving in the next couple of days. I could have waited for the delivery, but I wanted to get started. However, I definitely discovered why you don't like the Canson paper. I ran into the issue of filling up the tooth on both paintings! If I learned nothing else during this lesson, it was this! I decided to only submit these two paintings for this lesson, mostly because of the paper I have. Next lesson I should have the right stuff. When I was a kid, I was really interested in art and even considered majoring in it at college, but changed to business instead. Now, I am retired and finally have time for a hobby. My brother-in-law has painted in pastels for about 20 years, so I got the idea to pursue this from him. So far, I'm loving it, but really need some guidance. I love your work and your style.
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I Kept myself busy wiht fruit! had so much fun with it! Use a photo from your album for the landscape. my trees in the distance made it difficult for me! Kind regards, Wies
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Dear Marla, May I introduce myself. Wies is my name and I live in the Netherlands. Pastel grabbed me here for watercolour! I would like to improve in landscape. Think that is the most difficult theme, attached picture,s show what I make so far. I want to be a pastelist and possibly sell, that is my goal! Thank you for your wandeful picture,s Kind regards, Wies
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Hello Marla, I copy your paintings lesson 2 It is on colourfix one underpinning with acrylic ink! Greeting Wies
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