7 lessons from an experiment on lighting

  
With this painting I set out to do an experiment in lighting, and it had been a while since I had painted, so I was eager to get into it.

As I worked through this I realized it was falling short of its potential due to some poor planning and sloppy execution. Fortunately, despite that, the mood came through and I did get a few good lessons:

1. I need to sort out a better way to handle foliage up close–the stuff on the right doesn’t look good to me and seems to throw off the perspective

2. I liked the grasses on the left in person, but they are very blocky here. I need to sort out a better way to handle that. Some concentrated studies are in order.

3. Some parts of the lighting work, but I was not deliberate enough with it, so it doesn’t feel consistent or well structured.

4. The path is too regular. I should have broken it up more. I guess this is still fixable, but I am not really inclined to do more on this.

5. There’s not a good focal point–perhaps it’s the light in the fence, but that’s not strong enough. Then again, I chose this for light and mood, not composition. Perhaps the mood comes through regardless.

6. I really need to do drawings before I paint to get a better understanding of the scene, even when I am working from a photo. Some things about structure and perspective just don’t feel right to me here, perhaps because I took the photo too literally. Had I drawn first I could have edited better.

7. A lot of my paintings recently have been focused on things, not scenes. They didn’t have depth. I want to work more with perspective and space. I think I need to get into this with a pen or a pencil more first. 

Having written these 7 points, I am thinking of trying to sort some of this out by doing some pencil studies of the same scene to work out these kinks. More to come there.

Thanks for reading.

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One thought on “7 lessons from an experiment on lighting

  1. Hal Aber November 26, 2015 / 12:08 am

    Just saw this. I couldn’t sleep so I got up. From your comments you may want todo a Notan first to establish the values. Let’t talk over gobble goble.

    Sent from my iPad

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