Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Zooming In - Michael Chesley Johnson

Pastel Set-up

"Cathedral Rock Shadows"
5x7 pastel

In Sedona, you can set up your easel in almost any spot and have 360 degrees of scenery to choose from. This can be a real problem, even for a professional! It's so easy to unintentionally expand your composition to include not just the center of interest but a dozen other centers of interest as well. One gadget I employ to prevent this is a viewfinder, such as the Viewcatcher. (The Viewcatcher is available from Judson's Art Outfitters.

Here's how I use it. I first zoom in on my center of interest so it entirely fills the viewfinder's frame. Then I pull back, a little bit at a time, to include more of the scene around the center of interest. I continue to pull back until I have just enough other elements in the scene to make a nice composition. Sometimes you don't have to pull back very much, as you can see from the painting above. The photo below it shows the actual scene - and you can see what kind of trouble I would have gotten into had I included everything shown there.

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