|A Village in Vermont|
Above is the piece as submitted, and below is my Photoshopped version.
Here is what I did, and why;
- I worked to create more diverse and interesting shapes. For instance, I felt the three pines across the foreground were too similar. I downplayed the one at the furthest left and I made the shapes of the two remaining trees more individual. I made sure each of the trees had a different size too. I want to get as much variety of shape as I can. Repeated shapes, sizes and intervals between shapes make a repetitive and uninteresting design.
- I dropped the pine on the right down behind that little bench. That is visually more interesting. I am value stacking, it helps get recession and is another way to vary the shape of that pine from the pine on the left. This ONE has something in front of it. I like to stack lights on top of darks and then lights behind those. It gives more punch to a design.
- I opened up and simplified the middle of the painting. That makes it circular design, a vortex. This makes the eye travel around the circumference of the painting like a big "O". Read Edgar Payne if you want to know about design "stems", that is large geometric patterns concealed beneath the representation that give order and arrangement to a painting.
- I felt that the path leading through the foreground was to obvious, I just hinted at it using shadows catching the now half concealed trail through the snow. It is really easy to be too obvious in painting. Often it is best to give less information rather than more.
- I varied the line under the pine trees, rather than HERE'S THE TREE AND HERE'S THE SNOW! I wove the two of them together. I used the shadows and lumped up the snow to avoid too straight and obvious a line where they met the ground. Dropping that right hand tree a little lower helped keep the three trees from sitting on the same straight line also.
- I added recession to the snow as it went back. If the foreground snow and the background snow are the same value and color the eye will read them as being equidistant. I painted the foreground snow with a smidgeon of cadmium yellow, the midground snow with a little cadmium orange and in the distance I added a little cadmium red. As the snow recedes the yellow gradually drops out and the red increases.
- I threw another layer of distance into that background line of trees too, and varied the line of the trees against the sky back there. There were two groups of two pines back there that I felt were too symmetrical, so I removed one of the pair on the right.
- I warmed up the sky a little too, that explained the color in the snow, the sky being warm makes the picture more unified in the temperature of the light. I felt the color of the light was unexpressed, or too neutral.
- I added hazy drybrush "twigs to the weeds in the foreground. The transparency of that is more interesting and it allowed me to sneak a subtle violet color in there.
- I threw a little snow up in the branches of the deciduous tree at the right. I did this to add a little accent there, and also it is another example of a way to do a little value stacking. It is a little accent to enliven the passage. I often like to throw one little detail into each passage, the viewer perceives it and moves on assured that there is something going on in there. Passages don't need to be bristling with detail, one little observation of a detail will carry the whole area. It also adds sparkle.
There are now several on tap, I have already announced the White Mountain Snowcamp, I do have space left in this one, if you are interested, please click here. Snowcamp is the most fun I have all year! The workshop is held at a rambling, late 19th century inn, The Sunset Hill in Franconia, New Hampshire which is very romantic and old timey. It might be cold, but the inn is right at our backs as we work, so we can run inside by the fire and drink more coffee if it becomes too much.The workshop will be held January 26 through 28.The inn is the perfect place to do a class and the scenery is fabulous. The White mountains are spread before the inn like a movie set.
Sandcamp! This will be held February 8 through the 10th. I have had a local ask me to do this one, actually several people inquired about a Florida workshop so here it is. I will follow the usual protocol. In the morning I do a demo, and in the afternoon the students will paint and I will run from easel to easel doing individual critiques. I will explain my methods and materials and give individual attention to each student. I will also do a seascape demo, as we will be on the water it is useful too know a little about how the surf works.
This workshop will extremely intense, we will meet for breakfast and work until the light fails. Then we will eat dinner together and I will draw on napkins and wave my arms. I try to cram as much as I possibly can into the three days. I will, (as usual) work you like a borrowed mule.
If you want to come, here is the link.