Friday, March 22, 2013

Re-composing a painting

Terra Rosa. 12"x9". Oil on canvas panel
This is the small painting I've reworked today. 

There was no time today for a full-scale, long painting session -- too many other things to do, but I allowed myself a bit of time for this little exercise.

The original version, done in January as a quick study, struck me at a later review/editing time as being remarkably dumb in terms of composition. 

As dumb as it gets: I don't even understand, in hindsight, how it survived the day. I must have been awfully tired. 

The original study falls apart by combined efforts of two causes: dull, static symmetry of the pitcher/table aspect of composition; and the out-of-harmony values in the orange, which make it fall out of the picture plane and destroy the whole. Don't get me wrong: it is possible to do this "falling out of the picture plane" thing effectively, without this destructive force. It just doesn't work here; it's not an orange even, it's rather a light bulb which shines but doesn't give its light to the rest of the painting.  

The exercise I've set up for myself today was this: harmonize the painting and strengthen its composition without moving the objects around, by sheer force of value design and color. The basic solution was to extend the light and warmth of the orange to the left and darken the right, shadowed side of the set-up. 

And a touch of playfulness, tracing the blues from the shadows along the top edge of the pitcher, defying realistic illusions, as though a part of the picture's blueprint.  

The same set-up, a completely different composition... 
Post a Comment