Photo & Stage One

It’s a good thing to get out of one’s comfort zone. We learn if we’re open to the experience. We can gain new perspectives. That’s been the case with this project. To be honest, I don’t like this. I’m definitely out of my comfort zone. I think it’s too simple-looking. It’s monochromatic (boring). The subject matter seems too simple, maybe a little trite.You know, a landscape…at sunset.

So I set out to find a decent looking field at sunset. There’s a great little duck pond that I went to at sunset. I took a few photos. I was unimpressed. I tried a larger pond in another location and felt the sunset looked a little more dramatic. This is what I came up with…

Okay, I had to do some serious messin’ around in Photoshop to get the color right. I think it’s a good starting point. There are some plants growing up right in front of the reflection on the lake which I’m going to move a little over to the left. It’s not a wheat field, not even a corn field, which would be apropos for Indiana. Maybe I’ll try this one again later in the summer if the cornfields survive the drought.

There’s definitely a feeling of a hot summer evening. I think this will do. I’m off to start this painting and will be posting my beginnings. If you have any questions or comments, please send them along. I’m glad to see what you are doing.

Van Gogh Sunset

There are so many fascinating Van Gogh paintings. I asked my sister to look through the paintings and choose one for the next project. I thought if someone else picked, it might be more of a challenge. Actually, I think this will be easy. If you would like to pick our next painting, drop me a line. Here’s what she picked.     At first I thought this wouldn’t be a very good painting to go with since it’s very monochromatic. But after looking a little closer I saw some beautiful detail in the foreground that I think will be fun to paint. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here Van Gogh makes use of the diagonal again. Can you see, starting at the top of the canvas, you could draw a “Z” starting left and working to the right and continuing all the way down the composition. Because the colors here are plain and simple, the success of the painting will rely more on the excitement of the composition.

As I said, this is a very monochromatic painting at sunset. I would imagine that it’s late summer, since the field is ready to harvest. It must be hot. It’s mid-June where I am. The sunsets are more along the line of bluish pink. So I will make use of all my orange, red and compliments to get that late summer steaminess.

I’m going to put some very subtle compliments in the foreground of my picture. I’m going to keep it very subtle so as to be only slightly noticeable. I’m giving myself permission here to create some excitement in my version. You can do this or not depending on how you feel.

So that’s it. Diagonal composition in the form of a “Z”, monochromatic color, and the use of some compliments. I don’t know of any wheat fields that are ready to harvest near where I live so I’m heading to the airport at sundown today. I think it will make a good painting with a sort of modern feel. It’s very wide open and the sunset will be good there. I also have in mind a duck pond. There’s some beautiful lily pads and there’s a stand of trees on the horizon. Not sure how I’ll get a person into the composition. I may have to hire someone…hmmm.