On Thursday I did a demo for GSAA. I explained that my paintings proceed in three steps. The first is planning and design and involves taking my own reference photos, creating thumbnails using three values. I use a golden section grid and rearrange objects to suit my composition, I then transfer the idea to a mounted pastel paper limiting my design to five basic shapes. All of this was done before the demo. Next I chose hard pastels for my under painting paying attention to values with cools in the background and warmer in the foreground. This was quickly washed with alcohol to create a toned surface. I love having some of the deep red violets peek through the green. I then quickly added layers of pastel to suggest the scene without being too literal. When I start to feel the tendency to overwork I stop and take a break to observe and make some decisions. This is how the painting looked at the end of my demo.
Back on my easel I put the reference photo away and made some observations:
Add some bright golds to the foreground field to invite the eye in. Some of these should overlap the next layer to create depth.
Soften the back layer of trees to break the barrier to the mountain and add variety to this edge.
Make the right hand distance tree more dominant and minimize the left so they don't compete for attention.
Adjust the brush to allow access to the field.
Reshape the front and center bush and adjust the other two so they do not mimic the first.
Add wild flowers in the field to pull the eye in. Add blue violets in the foreground just for fun.
This is how the painting looks after this step:
Just a few more corrections needed:
Soften the ridge line to the left of the left tree