Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ear of the Wind

1.81 Ear of the Wind. This is the reason that I'm always timid to block out a large area of a painting in one color. Here I bit off a huge chunk of the bottom of the canvas, imagining that the featureless sand could be a dramatic contrast to the arch above. I'm not sure if it would have been better if I revealed more of the arch, or just moved the whole scene down in the frame or scrapped the concept altogether. 

Sometimes what makes a photo of a feature like this so visually arresting is the placement of a person in the scene to suggest scale and to give a clue of which direction the light is coming from. I avoid placing people in my pictures because I think it grounds the scene in representational reality. As I've said before, my goal is to create landscapes that are pleasing not just as a scene, but as an arrangement of colored shapes. A human would be a distracting detail. However, I stopped just short of a human here, including these posts that have been driven into the sand around the arch. I thought that they would look interesting in contrast to the expanse of sand. I violated another one of my rules by using a small brush to paint the posts. Lately I've come to the conclusion that if a feature is going to require the use of a small brush then it is too finely detailed and fiddly to include and will only be distracting. I'm afraid that has proved true here. 

I always add grey to my foreground colors to use them for a background layer to suggest that the viewer is looking at these distant objects through a large volume of air. Lately I've begun to include purple in this mix and I like the result.

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