Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Applied Lessons

This is an older pastel that was not working. It was done on the rough side of an orange piece of Canson pastel paper. I used this color thinking it would be suitable for the fall foliage, but I found the color difficult to use and I was unhappy with the patterned surface texture. I like a smoother paper and a midtoned surface. I adhered strictly to the reference photo, and was very dissatisfied with the result. I look at this failed painting as a chance to practice and apply some lessons I'm learning. I put the photo away and made some changes to improve the piece.
The fisherman should be the focal point, but I found my eye traveling everywhere on "Fishing 1". There is no aerial perspective, no depth to the scene. The colors of the further shore are just as strong as the colors on the nearest shore. The value shapes created in the foliage are repetitive and unconnected. The shape of the sky space is uninteresting.
In "Fishing 2" I added color to the sky, and changed the skyline to make the sky space more interesting. I joined the yellow foliage to make more interesting shapes. I blued and dulled the colors on the far shore to push them into the background. I blurred the reflection in the water. I focused on the fisherman and brightened the highlights on his clothes and on the shore grasses near his feet. I wanted the feeling that he was standing on the shore in the light of the setting sun.
I continue to learn...... to respond to a landscape by seeing interesting value shapes, to become less dependent on the camera by making changes to improve the composition, and to learn to combine elements from two or more photographs to create more possibilities.

No comments: