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About Traditional Art / Student Joseph CowanMale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 3 Years
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Statistics 14 Deviations 58 Comments 887 Pageviews


First of all, I have to commend you for your work and its wide appeal. When I first saw this piece I was very ready to criticize it for...

The piece is cute and well done, technique-wise. Nice use of line weight and it has a simple yet appealing presentation. However, light...

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Still Life with Cactus by Josephcow Still Life with Cactus :iconjosephcow:Josephcow 5 3 Still Life with Orange by Josephcow Still Life with Orange :iconjosephcow:Josephcow 2 0 Self Portrait with Backlight by Josephcow Self Portrait with Backlight :iconjosephcow:Josephcow 5 3 Head study by Josephcow Head study :iconjosephcow:Josephcow 0 1 Carousel by Josephcow Carousel :iconjosephcow:Josephcow 0 0 Self Portrait by Josephcow Self Portrait :iconjosephcow:Josephcow 0 0 Hand Sketch by Josephcow Hand Sketch :iconjosephcow:Josephcow 1 0 The Throne Room by Josephcow The Throne Room :iconjosephcow:Josephcow 0 0 Snakes by Josephcow Snakes :iconjosephcow:Josephcow 2 0 Fantasy Scene by Josephcow Fantasy Scene :iconjosephcow:Josephcow 0 0 Cat and Window by Josephcow Cat and Window :iconjosephcow:Josephcow 5 3 Self Portrait by Josephcow Self Portrait :iconjosephcow:Josephcow 3 0 Marsh Trail by Josephcow Marsh Trail :iconjosephcow:Josephcow 5 3 Warm Still Life by Josephcow Warm Still Life :iconjosephcow:Josephcow 2 0


Trumpy by Moonshen Trumpy :iconmoonshen:Moonshen 1,679 248 Dawn by noahbradley Dawn :iconnoahbradley:noahbradley 809 22 The Unforgiven by merkymerx The Unforgiven :iconmerkymerx:merkymerx 522 27 Raspberry dragon by GaudiBuendia Raspberry dragon :icongaudibuendia:GaudiBuendia 7,916 282 Charcoal Figure Sketch 43/100 by AngelGanev Charcoal Figure Sketch 43/100 :iconangelganev:AngelGanev 37 16 the dead zone by bwiti the dead zone :iconbwiti:bwiti 266 10 Medieval Walled City by Micko-vic Medieval Walled City :iconmicko-vic:Micko-vic 53 1 From a notebook, March 10 by lauraverde From a notebook, March 10 :iconlauraverde:lauraverde 58 4 Powal Doodle by xa-xa-xa Powal Doodle :iconxa-xa-xa:xa-xa-xa 3,860 96 Peace by Miguel322 Peace :iconmiguel322:Miguel322 193 31 Valley Gums Australia by artsaus Valley Gums Australia :iconartsaus:artsaus 243 7 Forest Gum Trees by artsaus Forest Gum Trees :iconartsaus:artsaus 492 14 I am Water by MoonLightSpectre I am Water :iconmoonlightspectre:MoonLightSpectre 3,094 215 Mermen   Warning: Yaoi!!!!! by 8maumau6
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Mermen Warning: Yaoi!!!!! :icon8maumau6:8maumau6 20 4
 Dsc3170 by klovi
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Dsc3170 :iconklovi:klovi 4 1
13 - X-MEN Vintage by IvannaMatilla 13 - X-MEN Vintage :iconivannamatilla:IvannaMatilla 165 29



First of all, I have to commend you for your work and its wide appeal. When I first saw this piece I was very ready to criticize it for its unoriginality, having seen many like it online in the past under the label 'modern impressionism' . However it seems that you sir have set the precedent yourself! So to call this style of painting unoriginal is not completely accurate. However, I still intend to give you my two or three cents, though I will try to avoid simple issues of good taste.

Whether you plagiarize yourself or another, it makes little difference to the integrity of your art. This subject matter is incredibly banal: A woman in the rain with highly saturated trees. This particular painting brings nothing new to the table. It is remarkably like every other one of your paintings.

The colors throw all sense of reality out of the window. They are completely fantastical to the point of being garish. Though I might compare this style of painting to the impressionists of the 19th century, none of the same values are there. While Monet was interested in the optical effects of color and light -- nature. You seem more interested in the artificial.

I don't believe exploiting the brightest colors possible everywhere in your painting is what will create beautiful, rich colors. Rather letting a few small areas of color sing against a more neutral plate will. Colors are relative. If everything were a little more desaturated, you would have more room to add accents of color that draw the eye to focal points such as the lady with the red purse.

I'm sure you are aware of all of this already though. My biggest critique is simply that this painting, though well executed, succeeds only in appealing to the most shallow emotions. It does not provoke any sort of intellectual thought. It is Kitsch. Now if that is your aim, so be it. But you do not need to resign yourself to painting the same work over and over. And I truly believe that your work can improve through study of nature. A rainy day can be very beautiful, but what you have painted would hardly be reminiscent of the real thing were it not for the umbrella and a few reflections.
The piece is cute and well done, technique-wise. Nice use of line weight and it has a simple yet appealing presentation. However, lighting proves to be a bit of an issue. The girl and cat appear to be lit from the sun at the top left. However the shadow suggests that the sun is behind them. Shadows always go in the opposite direction from the light. So the cast shadow on the ground should be behind the figure, not in front.

There are also some minor issues with the posing. It is kind of unclear how the cat is in the position it's in. Is is floating in the air? How the cat is interacting with the figure physically is unclear.
Still Life with Cactus
Oil on canvas, 9x12

This painting, from life was a fun but challenging study in color. The underpainting was painted in the complementary colors of each object, and then painted over directly with the true color.


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Joseph Cowan
Artist | Student | Traditional Art
United States


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3wyl Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
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Null-Entity Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thankyou Kindly For The Watch :D