|Mitten Ridge View 12×12 Pastel by Michael Chesley Johnson
A pair of scissors might just be the ultimate painting tool. When all else fails, cut.
Recently, I found tucked in the back of my storage area a frame that I’d forgotten about. It’s square, which is a format I don’t often paint in. (And that’s probably why I had hidden it away.) Also, the frame held a sheet of glass. Here, I thought, was an opportunity to dig through my big plastic box of pastel sketches and to frame something nice.
But like I said, I rarely paint in a square format. And sure enough, search as I did, I found no square pastel paintings. Was there anything I might crop to a square?
|Fresh out of the storage box – the 12×16 version.
This was a plein air painting, and sometimes, we get
careless with composition.
Ah. I pulled out a 12×16 that featured one of Sedona’s better-known rock formations. It was a plein air piece, and I’d kept it because I liked the color handling—but I’d never framed it because the composition needed work.
|Yes, it’s better cropped|
Once I’d put it on the easel, I found that cropping it down to a 12×12 did wonders for the design. To make it even better, I even reworked the foreground a little. One of the nice things about pastel is it is so easy to crop and so easy to rework, even years later.
|The final painting
Mitten Ridge View 12×12 Pastel by Michael Chesley Johnson
Michael Chesley Johnson, AIS PSA MPAC PSNM