I took a picture of the morning fog against the mountains – a sight I will never tire of. Last night I decided to try to recreate the scene in a painting. I decided not to add the fence and it looked so plain that I added a stream and some trees just for good measure.
Salvaging a Mediocre Painting
Today in our painting class, Lisa made a powerful case for reworking the painting. She traced the main elements on tracing paper and then cut them out. As was the case with the picture, I had three pieces of tracing paper that were practically identical – the sky, the mountains and the hedge of trees. My stream was guiding the viewer, at about 90 miles an hours from the lower left corner to the hedge and then they hit a wall.
In class today we learned about Throughholes. Throughholes allow the viewer to move through the picture even though there are visual barriers. My hedge of tress was a real barrier and didn’t allow the viewer to love through the trees to the mountains.
But, the lack of throughholes were the least of my problems. My painting had three similar VERY BORING shapes.
What was the painting about? Why did I take the picture in the first place? THE FOG! But that was lost in the picture.
Off to the Sink!
Lisa suggested I give my painting a bath. She suggested scrubbing out the stream, but didn’t tell me what to put in it’s place. At the sink, I got aggressive! Clearly I had nothing to lose! I not only washed out the stream, but also all of the brown leafless trees. I decided to add a throughhole from which the fog could spill out into the meadow. I also created the illusion of more fog by lightening the tops of the hedge.
I think that Lisa was a little surprised when she saw it. She gave me tips to soften the brush edges in the meadow and also soften the tops of the mountains.
It is now one of my favorite paintings I have done in class.
What a GREAT lesson – actually LESSONS!
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