Monday, September 5, 2016
I spotted this woodpile in front of a cottage near the Ocean Point Inn. The axe and the flowerpot drew my attention.
This is a problem of line direction, shape, values and warm and cool colors. The overall shape of the woodpile forms a kind of vignette, with the foreground lawn and background trees kept deliberately without detail to preserve the focus on the woodpile.
Color variation is crucial to avoid repetition in the tree trunks. The warm colors contrast with the cool colors and are spaced at intervals to lead your eye towards the axe. The color of the flower pot rhymes with the cut ends of the wood.
Study the lines and you will see that they all seem to lead into the center of the painting. The angle of the axe is also in contrast with the angles within the woodpile.
One further note: the cut wood is less and less detailed when it reaches the edge of the shape. Especially important is the first trunk in the lower left. Had it been defined further, your eye would have gone straight to it.
This painting required lots of restraint. The temptation to oversupply the viewer with details that would subtract attention from the two stars of the piece--the axe and the flower pot--was great. Putting every blade of grass in the foreground or tree trunks in the background would destroy the shape of the woodpile. Remember your initial idea. Hold that brush in check!
Posted by Carol Jessen at Monday, September 05, 2016