Backyard Rest Stop, 16 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2020
Todays makeover is one from the archives, and it's a good lesson in composition (on what NOT to do). I was drawn to this cozy scene in my backyard for it's familiarity, good vibes, and simple one-point perspective. I also wanted some practice observing perspective and architecture, so I gave it a go. (It was also raining and this was the only place to paint, and stay dry.)
Problem 1 - All the perspective lines led the viewer's eye right past my subject.
Fix - Added a railing to contain the eye within the porch area.
Fix - Made the coffee table edges curvy, to slow down the "racetrack" effect.
Fix - Lushed up my subject (added more flowers, warmed up color, added more suggested detail.)
Problem 2 - Overall tone was drab and flat.
Fix - Popped some warm light onto bricks.
Fix - Warmed up white window frames and siding.
Lines of perspective can have a very strong directional impact. They can be like pointing arrows. In this case, my goal was to create a scene that the viewer would sit down in, and want to stay for awhile. Wouldn't it have been great if all the lines were pointing to my sitting area?? That wasn't happening.
We want to use built-in lines of perspective (and other elements) to take the viewer TO our focal point... NOT away from it. What I learned from this one is to pay attention to where the "lines" are pointing, and be intentional about how I use them.
(I'm honored to be teaching in the Pre-Event Beginner's workshop! Look for me there!)