Jamie’s Critique Corner: A Day of Rain

I met with Margaret Larlham in person this past June at the 2015 International Association of Pastel Societies biannual convention in Albuquerque, NM. Margaret shared her work with me and I was able to provide some insights on the accomplishments she’d achieved as well as some suggestions to make her work stronger.

The following art critique is also a sneak preview of the December 2015 issue of Pastel Journal, which features “Artists to Watch” (available in November). Scroll down to learn how you can have your work evaluated and appear on this page.

Art Critique of Day of Rain

Art critique of Day of Rain by Margaret Larlham | ArtistsNetwork.com

Day of Rain by Margaret Larlham (margaretlarlham.com)

In Day of Rain, Margaret Larlham demonstrates technical accuracy and finesse, while also creating a narrative that prompted me to consider what’s happening between these figures. I feel the sadness shown in the face of the blonde figure as the second figure peers out the window with a questioning gaze.

The mood of the piece is heightened by the artist’s use of color and value. The sunlit areas use many warm tones with light values; the shadow areas use more cool colors that have darker values. This application intensifies the contrast within the painting, but also helps develop the emotional element.

In addition to the expression and mood, the picture is enhanced by the diverse mark-making. Margaret effectively combines hard and soft edges, along with a variety of strokes, to create textural interest throughout the piece.

Quick Tip: In painting the figure, it’s natural to focus attention on describing the face, but it’s important to bring definition and refinement to other areas, such as clothing, as well.


Jamie Markle mixed media artist

Jamie Markle

As group publisher of F+W Media’s fine art community, Jamie Markle oversees the development of fine art magazines, books, videos and websites.

Want to receive a FREE art critique?

Send a link to your website or 6-8 lo-res images to tamedit@fwmedia.com with the subject line “Jamie’s Critique Corner.” If your work is chosen, we’ll be in touch (please do not send follow-up emails). Chosen artists will receive a thank-you gift.

For a more in-depth art critique that includes an overall evaluation of your artwork’s strengths and weaknesses and clear suggestions on how to move forward with your art, visit Artists Network University, where we have more artists on hand to critique your work.

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