Monday, October 27, 2014

The simpler the better

If you followed me on Facebook or Instagram last summer you'll remember the time I painted these waterfalls.

It was such a thrilling thing to paint, but my painting didn't turn out well. It was really a case of sensory overload. A painting needs focus to communicate the feeling of a place. In this case everything was so beautiful and I didn't focus on one particular aspect of the place to focus my painting.

Back in the studio, with my memory, the failed painting from that day and a few reference photos I was better able to construct a painting that communicated (1) scale and (2) the cascading falls.

I arranged the painting into a light area (in the center) and a dark area (surrounding). I minimized the contrast in value in those major shapes and GREATLY simplified the edges where the dark met the light.  I also prepared a board with an aspect ratio better suited to eliminate extraneous information (i.e. the water in the foreground, the sky in the background).

Swallow Falls
5x8, oil on board


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