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Monday, February 12, 2018

A Tip for Dealing with The Big Empty

'Beyond the Meadow'         9x12         pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available $155
It was a large expanse of mostly nothing. Sure there were flowers but they were so thick that they really weren't very interesting. It reminded me of a large meadow filled with both but grass. I call it THE BIG EMPTY.....that large expanse of nothing important that occurs often in a landscape foreground to mid ground. How we deal with The Big Empty can make or break the painting.

The question we must consider is how we will have the viewer move from the foreground into the painting and through the big empty? Our focus may be in the distance but we need to create a visual pathway to transport our viewers to this focus. Have a look at the reference photo for today's painting. (below)

my reference photo
The horizon was just about dividing the scene in half so I decided to raise the horizon to put more emphasis on the buildings and less on the sky. That left me with another problem.
The Big Empty!  I now had to deal with the large expanse of flowers that were not really very interesting in my photo. They were arranged in horizontal bands and if I painted them this way they would have created a barrier for entry into the painting. A fence of yellow flowers!

To deal with the Big Empty I created a SUGGESTED PATHWAY of dark that meandered under the flowers and grasses. This dark zig zag mass along with an arrangement of flowers to provide contrast would subtly lead the viewer through the meadow to the buildings in the distance.

TIP: Create visual pathways with areas of contrast to lead your viewer through the empty spaces.


My value thumbnail with the suggested pathway of dark
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If you enjoyed this tip you will find an expanded exploration of composition and tips for leading the viewer through your paintings. This week there is a video demo of this painting as well as a new step by step photo demo and a bonus video on spices. I would love your support so I can continue to provide helpful content! www.patreon.com/karenmargulis


a quick color study 2.5 x 3.5 inches

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