I generally don't show a lot of my own paintings on this blog. But today I will do that. I have a design lesson that I can teach using it. This is a new painting that will be in the New England Landscapes show at the Old Lyme Art Association.
- The painting is a 26 by 30, so it is by most peoples plein air standards, rather large. I don't make my paintings by enlarging small studies in the studio, the paintings I exhibit are started on location, and then finished in the studio.
- I painted almost all of this one outside in one shot. I worked on it in the studio for only a few hours.
- Virtually the entire painting was done using a number 10 flat, a big brush. That brush was made of nylon and came out of a package of 10 that cost 9.99.
- In the studio I only worked on the top and bottom of the painting. I invented the shadow shapes on the left and leveled out the foreground field which actually dropped down to the right. That dip that I removed gave a sagging line across the front of the painting and took the viewer downward and out of the painting at the right hand corner, rather than allowing the observer to follow the line of bushes back to the barn.
- In the illustration below you can see that I put the foreground shadows into the lower left hand corner and the line of the bushes is over on the right hand side of the passage. We look out from the shadows on the lower left, across to the line of bushes over on the right. This was not observed but INSTALLED into the image.
- I have arranged , that is, forced the elements of the landscape into a diagonal recession back into the picture plane. The nearest planes are on the left and as they go away from the viewer they are behind the first plane and to the right. The receding planes are "stacked obliquely into the picture plane.
- The receding elements of the landscape are not stacked horizontally back into space, and progressing like a frieze, level with the bottom of the canvas from one side of the painting to the other. The elements are arranged to progress diagonally back into the painting starting in the lower left. Each of the elements of the painting are arranged on diagonal lines, so that as they recede into space they also march obliquely up and to the right.
- I did this because it is more dynamic than the somewhat static arrangement based on receding horizontal lines.
- But it also does another thing, it embeds the perspective more deeply in the drawing. Each layer of the scene is more visibly behind the layer in front of it. I sure hope what I mean is explained by the planar boxes drawn on the illustration above, when I explain this in person I am able to make chopping movements with my hands and wiggle my eyebrows up and down.
- I did the same thing in the sky, see how the clouds recede backwards into space diagonally as well.
Above is an illustration of the planar boxes as they would be arranged receding not as diagonals but one behind another parallel to the bottom of the image.
That wasn't easy to explain, I hope you caught that!