On Day 2, Susan did a sketch demo on location, at a beautiful area of the Moose River. She uses the Golden Mean to place the areas of interest. Important points are : Get the parts that appeal to you. Simplify. Use abstract shapes to compose. Make color notes.
Her idea of making the sketch work for you, was a revelation to me. I have often taken artist license when painting certain scenes, but what she said had more implications and possibilities, and made me realize why sometimes I end up with paintings that do not work. This is more difficult to grasp when you are painting outdoors and feel you are cheating if you make major changes to the scene.
I did two sketches that morning and would have liked to do a third one but it started to rain. It was lunch- time anyway. In the afternoon I worked solely from my second sketch.
Susan wanted us to paint water reflections and at least one structure/building. I had 2 paintings with water reflections, now I needed one with a building.
For a while I've been thinking of a photo of a barn I liked, but didn't know how to change the composition. I knew what particular things I wanted to include but didn't know how to put it together. Susan suggested to place a tree behind the barn. I did a sketch using that idea and it worked! She also suggested that I include the pole to give a sense of scale.
Reference for painting #3
I'm showing the reference photo just to give you an idea of how much you can change something and make it work for you.
I think the specs of reddish underpainting add a lot to both paintings and I'm planning to use it for other supports.