I have been working on this painting, titled "Lost Horse Lake" for the past several days. As I have been studying the classical methods, I thought I would also post my sketch work that reveals some of the underlying grid and placement of major lines.
I've been working in the smaller 16 x 20 format lately. At first, it was a struggle to reduce the proportions from my favored 22 x 28 format. Even though both sizes have the same ratio aspect, I did have to go back to the underlying patterns to get the correct "fit."
For example, with a 16 x 20, the golden ratio indicates grid lines at about 7.5/12.5 and 9.5/6.5 to divide the space harmoniously. I placed my grid lines in the above sketch at these divisions, with a dominate arrangement counterbalanced by a secondary arrangement.
I also paid more attention to the contrasts of hue/intensity/value in the color work. I am finally gaining some understanding about "edge work" - which not only refers to the quality of edges on the major shapes (ie: hard, soft, lost, etc) but also the edges of the painting, and how to gradate the color intensity to move the eye in and around the composition.
I did use an inspiration photo:
This is a man made lake just west of where I live. Because it doesn't have a natural inflow and outlet, the water is extremely calm and allows for perfect reflections. I utilized information but created a painting that is original and different. I remember an artist who was giving a lecture once said that his paintings did not reflect his photographs, but could not be created without them. I could say the same about this painting.