|A Walk in Springtime 12x24 oil/panel|
I know that this sounds obvious, but it wasn't until recently that I began to walk with just the camera and no painting gear, and with the specific goal in mind of composing paintings on the LCD screen. Thinking hard about composition - and not about color - makes a difference.
One idea I'm playing with is the diptych. With the camera, I try to find a natural divider to split the composition. Most diptychs I've seen are two paintings in the same frame with a piece of moulding for a divider. Or, they may be framed separately with wall space as a divider. Eitiher way, in my mind, the two halves never read properly as a unit. The wood moulding or the wall space seems to affect the aesthetics negatively. (As a reminder, in a diptych, each of the two paintings should be well-composed, but they should also make a good composition together.) I find that by keeping the diptych all on one panel and by using a natural divider - a fence post, a tree or some other prominent feature in the landscape - both halves are unified and my aesthetic demands, satisfied.
To show you how this works, at the top of the post is a piece I created based on a photo I took on a walk last week down by Cranberry Point. Below are the two halves.
For those of you interested, I used an unusual (for me) palette: Burnt Umber, Thio Violet, Phthalo Green, Cerulean Blue, and three new colors from Gamblin, Green Gold, Cadmium Chartreuse and Nickel Titanate Yellow.
This weekend, I will traveling down to Pemaquid Point to join about 30 members of Pastel Painters of Maine for a few days of painting. I'll also be presenting a plein air pastel demonstration to the group on Saturday. I believe I have Internet access at the hotel, so stay tuned!