Looking at composition

When I sat down at the edge of the lake this morning it was overcast and I wasn’t really sure what to paint but when the sun came out and those long shadows were cast by the row of trees I knew that was what I wanted to capture. In my haste to record the light before another cloud came by, I didn’t do a value sketch or plan the composition very well (like I teach students to do!) and ended up with a painting that I think has some good aspects to it but is ultimately boring. Had I taken the time to compose properly I might have drawn it vertically and ended up with a better composition. I cropped it below just to see…

Baie D'urfeTrees


Here is the cropped painting. One thing that is improved by cropping is the distance between the trees. In the painting above you can see that there is the same distance between the three trees on the right. In the image below, the spacing is different between each tree and I think that improves the composition.


8 Comments on “Looking at composition”

  1. Absolutely beautiful. One is more about the trees and shadows the other is about the setting.

  2. Ross C says:

    I like them both but I prefer the cropped one… and if you were doing it again, I would like to see even more of the foreground to emphasize those shadows… looking into the light can give very dramatic results!
    I hope the cropping was done electronically and not with scissors.

  3. refarch says:

    The cropped one is far better, which demonstrates the importance of value planning.

  4. Angela T. Macleod says:

    Loved both pictures, good eye to notice the subtle change in composition. Shari, can you please tell me the name of your art supply bag from Mountain Equipment Coop? It was so organized and convenient I would love to have one for an up and coming art trip. Much appreciated. Cheers, Angie

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