Friday, May 13, 2011

The Art of Elimination

In this demo that I did for a workshop in Rocheport, Missouri today, the question that arose in the students' minds, and mine also, was about the tree in the center of the scene.  It was my immediate feeling that I should leave it out in order for more attention to be on the gazebo.  The tree would have immediately grabbed a lot of attention because of its central location and its dark red value which also would have been hard to repeat.
Near the end of the process when I could have still added the tree, the students all agreed that the painting was fine without the tree.  I had also eliminated a telephone pole and a guard rail in the foreground.

Before you choose to include something in your composition merely because "it was there", think about its usefulness to the painting.  Eliminating extraneous objects for the sake of your painting's streamlined idea is a smart move.

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