|'Friendship Meadow' 12x18 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
EVALUATE THE REFERENCE AND ELIMINATE THE CLUTTER
So often we get caught up in the details in a photo. It is all too easy to copy what is there without thinking. But do we really need that road in the distance or that branch or that garbage can? We don't need to put something in the painting just because it is there. We only need it if it helps support our idea and composition. Taking time to edit the photo and eliminate the unnecessary will result in a stronger painting.
You can see my reference photo below. It has many issues which would result in a bad painting if I copied it as is. There are a couple of things that I immediately see the need to change. I see a road and road sign in the distance. Does the painting really need this road? Does it work in my composition? Does it support my concept? If I am not sure I simply put my thumb over the area. Usually this helps me see if I miss it. In this case the road is not necessary so I will leave it out.
The other issue that I see is the steep angle of the field. I find that it pulls my eye down and off the paper. I will need to change the angle of the field so that my eye stays in the painting. This isn't an issue of clutter but it jumped out at me when I evaluated the photo.
|my reference photo|