Isla the Otter

Isla the Otter

Oh dear, that's a difficult question! My immediate impression was that I liked it - the otter is lovely and the stoney bank too. I could see that it was the reflection of trees even if a little like a stained glass window but it adds an element of surprise which I like - breaks up the very dark water. Nice work!

Gorgeous otters and rocks Val, maybe a little water detail needed around the reflection to make it clear what that area is, it is a very tricky one though as Avril commented

Your painting Val is lovely. The colours and texture of the rocks are excellent, the otter is beautifully painted. The reflection too is eye-catching. However, I think the reflection is distracting, the focus should be the otter I think. I've done this myself, including something which attracted me yet which competes with the main focal point. Instead of cropping it ( which might unbalance the painting) could you maybe take out the reflection and add another rock or two but also fade into dark?. Or even do a quick alternative and compare the two. What angst we artists have!

I really like this picture, the rocks are perfect, the otter beautiful, I like everything about it.

A beautiful shady place, great reflection,I love that the reflection is in the shape of an oak leaf. Everything spot-on Val. Cleverly executed!

Really lovely - the otter is perfect and the rocks are beautifully done. It's a great composition as well.

Love the otter and the reflection, Val. Perhaps the reflection competes with the otter and looks like it's floating because of its high value. A few lines across the reflection might help tone it down, but that's a small point. I like the whole.

I like this very much Val, the otter and rocks are spot on. I would emphasize that the reflection is on water because its not that clear. Shouldn't there be some reflection of the rocks reflecting in the water. On the whole its lovely.

Thank you Avril, Ros, Marjorie, Karyl, Carole, Thea, Seok and Lorraine for taking the time to give me your expert advice and opinions on this piece. It's great that I can call on such a wealth of expertise on this site, much appreciated. Lorraine, well spotted, the fact that I hadn't indicated any reflections of the rocks in the water suddenly dawned on me earlier today. Amazing isn't it , you can stare at a painting knowing something isn't quite right and never spot it until it's pointed out to you:)

I like the composition because it packs a punch imho! will be interesting to see the difference if you do put extra reflections in the water.

It works Val! Nothing to worry about :)

I have looked at this loads of times Val and I still think the reflection needs to be a little darker to focus on the otter but its only a minor detail as the painting is sooo good, the reflections would make a painting on their own too ?

Many thanks Debs, Dawn, Lynda, Sarah and Norah.

Hang on Studio Wall

Soft pastel on black colourfix pastel card. I'd really like your honest opinions on this as I'm not sure the reflections at the side work. Hubby says they are OK but then he's knows what they are suppose to be!! To explain, the water was in shade and very dark apart from a patch where the sky was reflected together with the trees which are out of sight behind the rocks. I took the photo earlier this month at the Sea Life Conservation Center at Oban and I've simplified the scene but included the reflections as they were what attracted me in the first place. Help......should I keep them in or should I crop it at the otter's tail? or should I just consign it to the dustbin:)

About the Artist
Val Kenyon

I am a self taught artist or, as I like to say, I'm "unrestricted by formal teaching" which probably explains my mish mash of styles. I paint in most media, watercolour, gouache, oil, coloured pencil and my favourite, soft pastels. I'm inspired by the Scottish landscape, nature and animals and…

View full profile
More by Val Kenyon