Commission: Bulls Shoals Lake Landscape
by Anne Kostecki
I was contacted by Alicia earlier this year to do a landscape commission of Bull's Shoals Lake: her family's "happy place." She was open to many of the details, and had a specific view point in her photos that she sent: a sweeping view of the lake, forest, and sky. The photo featured more sky than land, so I chose to emphasize the sky according to the 2/3 rule.
Alicia sent me photos of her living room and said she preferred softer, less saturated sunset tones rather than bright colors. Since the sunset photos featured heavy cloud cover and the foreground was entirely in shadow, I combined aspects of the daytime and the sunset views. I needed to change the composition of the clouds to create a more interesting, dynamic view; rather than the heavy block of clouds in the photo. For that part of the painting, I invented the clouds, but also looked through references and the sky to see how to accomplish it. Originally, the clouds were much darker, but Alicia asked for them to be lightened, and I'm much happier with the result.