Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Alone Time

My latest painting, Alone Time, is based on a plein air sketch that I was working on while viewing the Burlington Park (Vermont) next to Lake Champlain. While working on this painting, I nearly gave up on it. However, I'm glad that I finished it. This is a perfect place to take a nap.

The original plein air sketch (shown below) is just awful. There is no depth to it, the composition is weird, the trees are done totally wrong. Very flat and very bad.

So, somewhere in my head, I had decided that there was potential for this painting. I just didn't know what it was. I first started with the basics: Add more blue/grey to the background to send the hillside farther back. Repaint all of the trees to be darker and add stronger brights/darker darks to the front to "flatten" out the landscape and give some atmospheric perspective. After I laid down the basics, I looked at the painting and thought: That's awful. So, I decided that I should just chuck it and restart a new one with a better composition (go back to the lake and do a new painting).

At that time, my wife (Melissa) looks at it and says: "You need some bushes in the front and I don't like the white trees. They don't look like trees". So, I decided, "Hey! I'm a painter. I can do whatever I like". So, I just started to play with the painting.

I like the final result.

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