Country Field, 8 x 6, Oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2019
"Country Field" is a small demo I painted for a plein air workshop this past spring. After I finished and even signed it, I was bothered by some things. While I had managed to replicate the scene, it wasn't aesthetically pleasing to me. An additional lesson came to mind what is more important: aesthetic or reality? I say aesthetic.
Sometimes it is necessary to adjust reality a bit to accurately portray what we SEE and FEEL about our subject. Permission granted to make changes for the betterment of your painting!
In this case, I had stuck a little too close to the real thing and lost the feeling of the place... so... I did some adjusting! Below you can see the before and after photos of this piece, and a photo of the scene.
Changes I made and why:
1) I gave the main tree shape a more interesting shape by cutting back in with sky and distant tree line. Before, the main tree was too perfectly round and static.
2) I cooled down distant row of trees. Before, the distant trees were not receding enough, or separating enough from the front tree.
3) I added more fencing on the right. Before, there was too much weight on the left side. The added fence counterbalances that weight and creates a more specific "path" into the scene.
4) I lightened up the highlights on the trees. Before, the highlights did not fully convey the light that came and went that day.
5) I added Bluebonnets. Before, there was no reference to season. It was Texas Spring! Bluebonnets were everywhere else and I had plenty of reference. HAD to!
And here is a photo of the scene...