My last couple of posts have dealt with identifying and emphasizing one thing that you want to communicate in your painting. Here's one example of what that can mean. The reference photo that I used takes in a lot of beautiful subject matter, and a number of fun compositions could be derived from it. I chose to "zero-in" on one aspect that particularly interested me, and you can see in my painting how I ended up cropping the subject and emphasizing the burst of light in the right-mid-ground. Then, I edited-out things that did not support my concept, and did all I could to emphasize my main point of interest.
Often, in my workshops, I see students take on everything in a reference photo simply because that's what's in the photo! This mental attitude is what I refer to as "thing- o-vision". If we don't consciously shift into "art-o-vision" we automatically begin taking dictation from our reference, whether painting from life or photos. This approach effectively rules out our opportunity to exercise our design and compositional choices that make our painting interesting and expressive. Among other things to do, before beginning to paint, try "zeroing-in" on one concept that excites you about your subject, and then make a game of showing off that one thing. Don't bother with anything in the reference that is extraneous to your concept, and think of ways to emphasize your concept. More coming up on that.
©Jimmy Longacre 2017
8X16 oil on canvas panel
subjective realist landscape paintings