Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pink Adobe Dawn

"Pink Adobe Dawn"
9x12, pastel, en plein air

I taught a workshop in Tubac, AZ, a few years ago. One morning we had gorgeous, early-morning light. In this scene, it was just catching the top of the palm tree and the inside of the window and arch in the adobe wall. I wanted to play down the color to give a sense of "first light."

You'll note that the palm counterbalances all the things going on over by the adobe arch. If you block out the tree with your hand -- one of my favorite ways of seeing if an element is really necessary for the composition -- the design suffers. The tree is needed. What's more, the tree also puts some interest up in the sky, which occupies more than 50% of the painting. Without the tree, the image would need to be cropped in some way to make a satisfactory composition.

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