Monday, July 13, 2015

Under a cloud

We're always told not to plunk things down in the middle. Generally good advice, but sometimes that doesn't suit the subject. Like a floral or still life...or a portrait. You don't run a face or a vase of flowers into the corner (unless you're balancing it against other stuff - in which case your vase of flowers is becoming a tablescape and your portrait is becoming an interior scene). The picture below has this issue:

I thought sliding the cloud off to the side was's ABOUT the cloud right? Likewise, it's hard to avoid centered horizon lines in these situations. Also, sliding that clump of trees to the side makes a big empty hit the distant horizon too fast and without much interest (miles of soybeans can only be SO thrilling). So, whatcha gonna do? Whatever you want...hah! I'm going to tell you what I tried.
1. Nothing IS on the exact center point. Darn close, but not exact.
2. The cloud shape isn't bilaterally symmetrical: It divides it's space unequally and creates irregular negative spaces.
3. It "pushes" it's edges at the top and disappears at left while letting you past at right.
4. The color across the cloud is unequally distributed - value, chroma and hue change. The photo doesn't show it well but I tried to modulate the sky color in a similar manner.
5. The distant horizon line is LEVEL but the other horizontal lines across the fields are SLIGHTLY PITCHED left and right. So are the lines of the scud clouds in front of the main cloud. These lines - hopefully - form subtle Z lines to lead the eye back with less speed. Look close: The edge of the bean field at front is at an angle to us. A portion of the field at mid distance is a darker green similar to the tree clump. It comes from stage left and connects with the clump. It DOESN'T continue right...visually, it's SUPPOSED to connect with the dark greens in the field's edge at front...just off stage left.
6. UNEQUALLY DISTRIBUTED ACCENTS: On the horizon the are 2 farms left and 1 right. The building in the central tree clump isn't in its middle. Last, the volunteer stalk of corn is asymmetrically located...wonder if I'm the only artist to use THAT item?
7. SHAPE ECHOES: The cloud, clump of trees and clump of grass at front are similar shapes BUT THEY ARE DIFFERENT SIZES AND COLORS. This - I hope - subliminally bounces the eye up, then middle, then front. You'll have to tell me.

The point today is this: all those things are out there. Maybe not in this EXACT view or on the same day. But it pays to notice these things driving around and "file" them for future use. Sometimes on location you can find them by looking 360 degrees around you.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. I have noticed that you do this and it works, but I did not know how you pulled this off. Beautiful!