Saturday, June 27, 2009

The completed work, image size is 8 3/4" x 13". This work will be shipped off for American Artists Abroad at the Bennington Center for the Arts later in July.

As noted yesterday, I will be working on a short tutorial to be posted tomorrow on the upper part of this work, specifically the way in which I indicated the frayed cloth of the canopy.

And, some final thoughts and notes on my 'adjustments' on the ways in which I modified the original photo reference to have things work for my concept of the composition. As I have said any number of times to students and those who ask . . . reference is just that, something to be referred to and not necessarily slavishly followed. In this case, there were good 'bones' to begin with, as the gourds with their interesting patterns and shapes, made for a very good starting point. By leaving some out and moving others (like the two smaller gourds that now hang, one above the other just to the right of the birds) I hope I have made a more interesting pattern, one that is less of a punch as is the case in the overall, evenly distributed gourds in the photo.

Also, by extending the log in the center so it runs off the right hand margin, I think I have better balanced the lower log which runs off to the left. Since I removed all the gourds hanging on that lower log in my work, there was much more emphasis put on that lower log and therefore I felt that by extending that central log to the right, a better balance would be achieved. Also, a stronger horizontal feel was achieved by this.

Getting rid of some more of the background texture, as on the extreme left of the photo, and the drum which is cut off at right, there is more focus on the central part of the composition, I feel.

And finally, by establishing that little bit of light coming through in the distance just to the left of the birds and behind that crescent slice of basket to their left, I wanted to give the viewer's eye a little more aid in finding the birds and establish a depth to the work that I found missing just a bit in the photo.

So, does it all work? I guess that is for the beholder to decide. I know how I feel about it!

1 comment:

Peter Brown said...

Terry, when it comes to making adjustments in the interests of a stronger composition, I find posts such as this one and those of yours from June of last year to be priceless.

I know I'm guilty of relying too much on photographic references, but through posts such as these, I'm slowly coming to have some understanding of the elements of design and how small changes can make a big difference. Thank you!