Wednesday, March 29, 2017


My last couple of posts have dealt with identifying and emphasizing one thing that you want to communicate in your painting.  Here's one example of what that can mean.  The reference photo, above takes in a lot of beautiful subject matter, and a number of compositions could be derived from it.  The photo on the right zeroes-in on one aspect that particularly interested me, and you can see in my painting how I ended up cropping the subject and emphasizing the burst of light in the right-mid-ground.  Then, I edited-out things that did not support my concept, and did all I could to emphasize my main point of interest.

Often, in my workshops, I see students take on everything in a reference photo simply because that's what's in the photo!  This mental attitude is what I refer to as "thing- o-vision".  If we don't consciously shift into "art-o-vision" we automatically begin taking dictation from our reference, whether painting from life or photos.  This approach effectively rules out our opportunity to exercise our design and compositional choices that make our painting interesting and expressive.  Among other things to do, before beginning to paint, try "zeroing-in" on one concept that excites you about your subject, and then make a game of showing off that one thing.  Don't bother with anything in the reference that is extraneous to your concept, and think of ways to emphasize your concept.  More coming up on that.

©Jimmy Longacre 2017
8X16 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX


  1. thank you for taking the time to explain such a simple concept in such away that even I understand it. You should post this on wetcanvas Plein Air.

    1. You're very welcome, C. Thanks, for letting me know you like it.