($40.00...6" x 6"....Water Soluble Oils on Gessobord)
If you are just beginning to experiment with painting...especially with a palette knife, you might not think things are going well as your painting the color notes you see in your photo or plein air experience. The incredible thing is that if you simply keep going and mix the right values and put them in the right spot, the painting magically appears. It does take practice, but it is very important to persevere to the bitter end before judging the outcome.
I am now eager to get out there and take some more pictures and if the weather permits to also paint outside. After creating quite a few of these pieces, I now know what I want to be looking for the next time I photograph.
One of the first things is a lot of contrast like the stone against the trees in this piece. The very next thing for me would be looking for good diagonals. This piece has plenty of them with the angle of the bluff, the angle of some of the boulders, and the tree limbs. The next thing I will be looking for is a wide color range...especially complementary colors. Pieces that have all green, even if there is a high value contrast is not as appealing to me as having direct or split complementary colors present. And the other important thing would be division of space and good foreground interest. You can clearly see how the barren tree and other green foliage helps create distance.
And even if you're an abstract painter, a good photograph is a wonderful place to begin. It at least gives you an idea of composition, values, and colors, even if you have no intention of painting them realistically. So get your camera and take a drive in the hill country. There's plenty to see in Central Texas! And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.
Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.