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StudioSense: Filling the Gap

Here's a pastel painting-in-progress that includes a change in the composition mid-stream.

The painting is called "Meeting at Mill Pond." Originally, there was no meeting, as there were no subjects in the painting. And that is part of the change.

This is the reference photograph:

Here is a recent version of the pastel painting. I enjoyed creating the sunlight effects in the horizon as well as in the water. The painting is particularly "long" to fit a cool frame I recently picked up.

The challenge I had with the composition is the large gap in the middle of the canvas past the rocky foreground. The gap is wider than the version in the photograph. The varying reflections provide some variety, however it still appears too "gappy." So I took a photo of the painting, sent it to my laptop and uploaded it to Microsoft Paint. My plan was to play around with the Paint application to sketch additional objects to help narrow that gap. After a few iterations, I arrived at the following image:

I added a fallen tree to help break up the gap, plus some birds (no they are not rabbits; it is sometimes difficult to draw in Paint)! The objective was to complete the composition but retain the viewer's interest to follow the groupings of rocks from the lower left, to the right, to the left again and the out toward the fallen tree and distance. The Microsoft Paint application comes in handy to plan changes without staring endlessly at the painting in your studio. I have become disciplined enough to say to myself "I am not painting this work today because I need to plan for it some more," compelling me to deploy these digital tricks.

Here is the current version. I added two birds (hence the painting's title "Meeting at Mill Pond." I may still play around with the distant water (which is the Saline River in Saline, Michigan) but I am pleased with the changes in the composition so far.

Check back for a the final version of "Meeting at Mill Pond."

But Wait!!!! Special Announcement!!!

Jill Wagner, a famous, fine artist from Saline Michigan, in having an "Open Studio" at her home in Saline this weekend. The event runs Saturday and Sunday. Stop by and see Jill's beautiful oil paintings and pastels. More can be found by clicking here.

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