Our next patient is duct taped wide eyed to the gurney and yammering something about going home, and its mother, lets operate, and quickly, before it gets away!
Here is the piece as it was sent to me. Its a nice piece of work, done by a practiced artist with a real feeling of truth to it. I had a few little changes I felt like making and I resected its abdomen in photoshop and came up with this.
Here is what I did and why.With bullets, even were they not called bullets, I might still use them, it does give a well informed look to my writing.
- Like I did with another piece this week I cropped the image on the right a little. That had several benefits, but mostly it got that tree out of the middle of the painting and off to one side. I felt that looked better, less static.
- I cropped the bottom too, but for a different reason. I like to throw the "footlights" of a painting out a little further than the first image did. It is difficult to paint everything from your toes to the zenith. The reason for this is that it makes the viewer feel as if they need to move their head on its stalk in order to perceive all of the image. When they feel that way it is hard to keep them believing. It is something to watch out for on the horizontal axis too, although less so. Again it is easily done, the luminist painters did it a lot, but you have to be aware of what you are up to and account for it.
- Cropping the image did tighten up to the best part of the painting and I feel like I closed in a the story and eliminated some non essential stuff. It is a tighter story now.
- I worked on the tree branches a bit. I removed a couple that just ended on the left hand side. They were no doubt actually like that but I think they looked kind of amputated. They cause the viewer to hesitate, what happened to them? Lets not give that viewer a reason to reject our picture, shall we?
- I upholstered the branches of the left hand tree and the one in the middle of the painting with the fine haze like twigs which often occur against the sky this time of year. I also threw in some little dry leaves that the wind left on those branches. I like to do that because it gives a decorative look to those situations and allows me some accents and implied detail.
- I removed a fence post and some branches that were clawing their way in on the right. I felt the area would be better if it was "decluttered".
- In the middle distance I mixed things up a little more. I dropped some notes recalling bare branches over that blue and I toned the whole blue passage down. I also made that group of trees a little more important.
- Lastly I straightened out that back field where it met the tree line. It seemed concave. Concave lines are generally to be avoided in landscape, the earth tends to be formed out of bulges, convex lines. Concave lines give a sickly look to a landscape.