I can feel a shift beginning to happen and I expect that my landscapes will gradually become more and more abstract and I will also begin to put my "colorist" hat on again. One of the interesting things about the hill country is the enormous amount of "nondescript" detail around that appears to be a stockpile of "grays" in their various tints and shades.
In this piece, I opted to delete all of the rocks and "scrubby" little plants that were peppering the hillside. What drew me to this place was the tree silhouetted against the sky on the side of the hill. It is my first effort with a palette knife in very familiar surroundings so I am pleased that it is "funky" looking and yet captures the scene in a way I wanted.
The design element that become apparent right away was the presence of diagonals in the tilt of the orange tree and the other tree leaning towards and giving a nod to the orange tree. I carried the diagonals on through with the value changes in the foreground.
My big "take away" from this piece is what I learned about diagonals. They are key to bringing energy to a landscape that would have been quite boring if all of the lines and shapes had been totally vertical or horizontal in their direction. So whether you're creating a totally abstract piece or giving a nod to realism, it is a good idea to pay attention to the dominant directional lines in the piece. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.