Dune Shadows,6 x 8, Oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2020
I spend a lot of time on the Georgia coast and walking the beach is my favorite way to start the day. I love all of its sights and smells and sounds; and the peacefulness it offers is a daily gift. This week I heard this beach is closed! I guess it had to be done because people tend to congregate there (especially at spring break), but wow. So sad.
Since I can't be there... here is ANOTHER beach scene makeover for today's Fix-It Friday. This little plein air piece had some of the same issues as my last post!!! Hmmmmm... a recurring problem... this is a good thing to learn about myself!
Problem 1 - Another stagnant horizon line.
Fix 1 - Raised up the foreground grasses to break through the horizon line.
Fix 2 - Added some activity in the sky to break up horizontal bands.
Fix 3 - Varied water line on shore to break up horizontal bands.
Problem 2 - Focal point is off the page.
See how the line of grasses and the horizon line make a racetrack to the far right corner? They take the viewer right off the page because there is no other clear focal point.
Fix 1 - Enlarged and enhanced the first clump of grasses, making it the focal point.
Fix 2 - Enhanced sky activity to pull the eye back in.
The first problem reminds me that even if the actual subject doesn't have what I need, I can change things. There are almost always examples of what I need all around - grasses farther up on the dunes, a wisp of clouds that can be enhanced. Use everything. Even memories.
The second problem was compositional. In this case, a little manipulation helped. The taller grasses help to keep the viewer traveling around the scene. NOW, the eye sees the large grasses first, travels up the leaning grasses, jumps to the clouds, and comes BACK to the large grasses along the dune line. (The goal is to keep the viewer in the picture as long as possible!)
Biggest take-away??? Apparently I like painting dune grasses at the beach. AND, making the same mistakes. Maybe, just maybe, I should remember these lessons and approach this subject differently next time I am outside painting it. How much better to get it right the first time!! ;)