Tuscan Vineyard Landscape

tuscan landscape painting

I really like the subject and composition in this Tuscan vineyard landscape. I have been working on an oil painting of this view since January. But I became attached to too many things in the painting.

Attachment is a deadly thing that kills creativity, unless it is acknowledged and used as a creative force.

Realizing I was attached to something in the painting, I set it across the room and put a clean piece of paper on the drawing table. This did two important things. It acknowledged my attachment issue AND created space to solve it.

Two main issues got solved with this Tuscan Vineyard Landscape

1 – Working with a Diagonal Composition

The first is the slanted mountain repeated twice across the painting. When working with a diagonal composition, a counter-balancing element must lead the eye back to center. Since I didn’t want to give up the hillside, I chose instead to use the vertical cypress trees to bring the eye down. And the buildings to wedge the slanted focus back to center.

Notice how the tree in the foreground anchors your eye back to the signature corner with it’s shadow.

2 – Resolving the Busy-ness

The second element is the subject matter itself. So many buildings and so many trees can get busy very quickly. In the oil painting, I became too enamored with them, and the vineyard itself.

Stopping myself from going in circles on the oil painting was a good thing. Still I was reluctant to give up  my attachment to all the details.

Switching gears, I started fresh with the small pastel. Painting from the oil painting, I blocked in the simplest shapes. The smaller scale helped me see only the most dominant shapes.

In the pastel, I attached the buildings in the middle ground together. I also moved the foreground building closer to them. This allows the viewer to see the structures more as a single unit. Do you see how the foreground trees complete the wedge shape of the buildings?

Insights for Life

As usual, solving something on canvas solves something in life. I often don’t see it until I write about it. Both of these issues do have parallels in life. I see how I have solved a slanted life issue by structuring an integrated unit of well-formed compositions. And I see something else too about mitigating busy-ness ~ but that’s a subject for another post!

I’m still transferring my new filter from the pastel to the oil painting. I’ll post it soon.


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Author: Dorothy Fagan

Experimenter, gardener, grandmother ... Dorothy Fagan plays with creativity, dreams, and paint every day.