More varied and interesting, but still…
Last month Paulo Netto submitted a group planting for critique by Robert Steven. Now, he’s submitted another more varied and interesting group planting for Robert to critique. Still, no matter how varied and interesting, there’s room for improvement, and ‘room for improvement’ is practically Robert’s middle name.
Robert Steven’s critique
After the recent critique on Paulo Netto’s grouping, especially on the placement of the gate, he sent me a new grouping with different placement, which showed great improvement in perspective as well as overall composition. The open space in front also shows a much better foreground setting.
However, there are still some points that can be improved.
One of the very important principles of grouping bonsai is to make the panorama look like a part of natural landscape; not a prototype of a backyard garden. So, in this design, I would prefer to take out the wooden fence.
Creating a path is always a good idea in a group planting, but there is a trick to make the path more interesting and natural, and to add artistic value to the creation. In Chinese, this concept is very important and expressed as “Shen Long Jian Shou Bu Jian Wei” (A mystical dragon will only show its head and not the tail). This concept applies to the forming a path or river in landscape bonsai. Never make a straight path or river, but always make it zigzag, curving to the rear with its end point hidden. This will enhance the perspective and create a sense of mystery and an illusion of depth.
Looking at the simulation you can see that I have changed the placement of the gate by partly hiding it behind the trees. This improves the perspective and depth and suggests more mystery.
In addition to all this, all of the trees should be refined to create better ramification.
There is more than one way to design any bonsai and my critiques and recommended solutions might not always fit your taste and personal preferences, but I always try to give my opinion based on artistic and horticultural principles.
My bonsai blog address : http://robert-steven.ofbonsai.org
Source: Bonsai Bark