Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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04/22/2005: "Working on the "Woman with Fiddle" Painting"

I know I said I was going to concentrate on just black and white for awhile but that's like asking Rush Limbaugh to give up his Oxycontin! Once I resolved to *not* paint, I couldn't wait to start! I decided to reexamine the woman playing a fiddle painting for flaws I could fix post book learnin. I found:

1. The tree was too uniform so I broke up the space, created a trunk and some branches showing through small areas of negative space.

2. The mountains in the background were too uniform in size and shape. The tree also created an imbalance on the right so I added a much larger peak on the left to even things out.

3. To vary the value I repainted the sky, starting dark at the top and getting lighter to the horizonline then reversed it for the mountains. I also darkened her dress so she would become the focal point even more.

4. I used a more dramatic gradiation of color from the bottom of the canvas up to the point of interest.

5. The field of pink fireweed was too uniform across the mid-section of the canvas so I varied the heights and density of the flowers.

I still need to finish the figure but it's *much* better. Once I realized that I'm not working under a deadline and I can just paint over it in a month or if it blows, I felt I could stop second guessing and just *do* something. I'll take a picture of the new version tonight.

Replies: 3 Comments

on Saturday, April 23rd, greg said

those sound like real good ideas/steps toward a greater solution. It's a beautiful composition! Cant wait until we can see it :)

Hey! Is it okay - since I am blogless - to ask your opinion of one o'mine? could I post an image here?

on Saturday, April 23rd, Elise said

Sure Greg, I'd love to see it. If you email it to me I can upload it for you cuz i'm not sure how you'd do that just using the comments field but if you can figure it out on your own then go for it.

on Saturday, April 23rd, Elise said

Oh, and about the changes to the painting. i'm not ready to post it just yet. I worked on her face last night and now she looks freakish. Once I get that figured out I'll post it though.