What to leave in and what to take out??? The 'painting' above shows just the lower third of an original oil sketch. There are a couple more crops below, showing more of the painting, especially the interaction of the dark and light shapes. The original painting is posted last.

My inspiration to paint this was the wonderful contrast of dark and light shapes - see photo. However, the final small painting really captured the movement of the feet and became my favorite part of the picture.

Will just that 'feet' portion of the picture be enough to create a good painting as shown in the top cropped painting? I'm not sure.

The full figure - to the left and cropped somewhat - helps establish a pleasing cruciform pattern of darks.

Another possibility is adding the variety of all the curved lines of the bike wheels and cropping the figure even more, as shown next.

Maybe the figure looks too chopped off in this crop - or is it the lack of dominance of lights or darks? They seem to be almost equal here - not so good.

The challenge is to develop a good composition that will draw attention by the value pattern. Plans are to use fluid acrylics on YUPO for the final painting, maybe even throwing some collage in..... We'll see. All comments, suggestions and direction will be much appreciated.

"AMSTERDAM" Oil on Canvas 8 x 12"


RHCarpenter said...

Sandy, great painting! I see the yellow at his chest that I don't see anywhere else - maybe touch a bit of that in with the bicycles? Also I would crop it just below the hands and keep in the bikes on both sides (more like the crop just under the photo but cropped even more down a bit). I like this, though, and it would work as a whole just as well as with the crop but I don't like the bald head - maybe give him dark hair to offset against the bg there? Anyway, just my 2 cents and that's probably what it's worth :)

Dawn said...

it is all good Sandy, love those feet too. I like the cropped version that is right on his shoulder, what if you left more of his head, cropping just above it or the very tip top? cannot wait for your yupo painting.

Sandy Maudlin said...

Good idea about repeating that yellow. Thanks Dawn and Rhonda for your comments. I'm working on it slowly and have made the whole thing black and white, no grays to establish pattern first. Had to take a break and shovel some snow too:-C Hurry, Spring.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Oh Sandy - Ive missed the last 3 gorgeous posts for some reason. The Spring and Journey astound me but its amazing we are both currently working with Amsterdam, ie your CHOICE.. My choice is the top one with the flying feet, you'd think he'd pinched something from the shop behind the way he is hurrying away - wonder why he didnt jump on one of the bikes!!! It has two touches of gorgeous crimson and purple that simply bring it alive. I would not alter a thing, it has such vitality.

Nick said...

My fave crop is the square one just showing his feet and the bikes - love that!

Cathy Gatland said...

I love just the feet walking - I think it makes a stunning painting and tells the story all on its own.

Chris Beck said...

Just going with my gut, I prefer the one cropped at his shoulder and across his forehead. If I analyze my choice, it's the balance of the dark simple shape on the left against all the details behind and to the right of the figure. But I'd leave a little more space below his feet -- otherwise he looks like he's stepping through the frame.

Sandy said...

well, I love the whole painting!

Sandy Maudlin said...

Thanks for all the comments and good ideas. I sure appreciate your taking the time to visit.