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Old 03-30-2012, 11:38 PM
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clearlight clearlight is offline
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'Road to Zion'..two final compositions compared

So here is another 24x24 oil I just finished today after a major shape was added....and the other image is of the same painting [I thought it was finished...not quite!] I am posting this to show how a comp change can affect the feeling of the piece. The naked slope vs slope obscured with objects...a distinct difference in one looking drier and warmer...and the other more like high desert..cooler and greener. Either one could work...but of course the first one is no more. I am not sure which I like...Zion is indeed hard to paint and these two are very stylized in concept. I guess I will leave it for you to decide.


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Last edited by clearlight : 03-30-2012 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:53 AM
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claude j greengrass claude j greengrass is offline
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Re: 'Road to Zion'..two final compositions compared

Both have good strong abstract shapes. It could tempt me to paint another abstract after Kate. ;-)
It is only on a basis of knowledge that we can become free to compose naturally. -- Bernard Dunstan
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:31 AM
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mariposa-art mariposa-art is offline
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Re: 'Road to Zion'..two final compositions compared

I will not say that my eye for composition is all that refined, but my gut feeling was that while both versions are fabulous, I thought the one on the right (with the added trees) as being a little "better." That was just my first gut reaction, for whatever it's worth!

Fantastic painting, by the way!
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:11 AM
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bobc100 bobc100 is offline
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Re: 'Road to Zion'..two final compositions compared

I think you made an excellent choice. The tree does a great job of balancing the dark hill on the left and also creates something of interest in the immediate foreground to help pull us into the scene much more strongly than before.

It may just be variations in your reproductions, but it appears like you made some small adjustments on the left side - adding reflected light to the shadow on the hill and firming up the shadows on the small bushes - and these also work very well.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:27 PM
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clearlight clearlight is offline
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Re: 'Road to Zion'..two final compositions compared

Yes...good observations. I also firmed up the edges on the clouds to unify the style over the entire painting...less realistic..more poster-like. The top planes on the dark hill on the left were made bluer to bring blue down from the sky into the land masses...and the original cool tire tracks on the road were painted over to simply that large area even more. When I added the trees and bushes...it became too busy and I needed a 'quiet' area. It still is 'busy'...but I am going to let this stand. If I did this over...I would probably obscure most of the slope on the right with a much larger tree and develop the feeling of discovery and awe you would naturally feel driving into Zion Canyon. Oh well...it's a continual learning experience..on to the next project!

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Old 06-06-2012, 04:50 PM
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Re: 'Road to Zion'..two final compositions compared

There's something unsettling about the first one with nothing on the right. And not the good unsettling.

I think it may have something to do with the fact that we read a painting, naturally, from left to right before we begin to explore it in more detail. It's a split second natural reaction but it has a big bearing on our overall opinion of the image.

You read the first one and when your eye reaches its destination on the right of the picture, there's nothing there to end on and nowhere for your eye to go. In the second one, you end on the tree, and it has an advantage in that the trunk actually draws your eye upwards towards the hillside in the distance. Your eye is then drawn up around the top of the mountains and back down diagonally to the starting point. Then repeat.

It's actually a really good composition if you think about it, with the tree. It provides a natural path for your eye to follow, yet it isn't 'obvious' that is where your attention should be, it's just where it goes.

Well done.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:48 AM
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Re: 'Road to Zion'..two final compositions compared

I like both, but the painting on the right with the nice lead your eye bushes, I think, is the best of the two. There is more contrast and the view is more appealing. Beautiful work.

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