How to cheat with your composition

Treleddid Fawr

Treleddid Fawr, Pembrokeshire

If you travel down to St David’s and explore the countryside below Carn Llidi you will find this lovely old farm called Treleddyd Fawr. However you cannot see it the way I have painted it. I have used a lot of artistic licence with this one.

I like to paint buildings so that they are part of the landscape rather than dominating it and this view of the building is mostly obscured from this distance. To see the view like this I would have had to cut down a mass of overgrown hedgerows, several small trees and demolish a stone wall. I would also have had to hover about 100 feet up in the air to get the crag in this position.

I sketched the building from several angles from close quarters and the roof and chimneys from a 100 yards back (this being all I could see from that distance). I then drew a lot of thumbnail sketches to work out the positions, angles and perspective until I was happy with the composition.

Making the landscape suit your ideas is what makes painting so exciting, so don’t be reluctant to change things to how you would like them to be.

This painting is from my new book Painting with Pastels, signed copies are available from the website with a DVD of the same name is also available. Save £5 on the book/dvd offer

My first blog

Barafundle Bay

Barafundle Bay, pastel by Jenny Keal

Blogging seems to be the new way to communicate and it offers many possibilities. I will be using this blog to offer hints and tips on painting and announcing news of events that David and myself are organising. Maybe the odd profound thought might creep in as well.

Visual Art tries to communicate without words and I hope the image above says something to you. This is Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire. I sketched this scene on a stormy February day and painted it in pastel later in my studio. I can still feel the salt on my skin when I look at it. I hope it says something to you.

Pastel is a superb medium for conveying atmosphere, and this allows you to put more emotion into your paintings. This painting is from my new book ‘Painting with Pastels’
Communication has changed so much in my lifetime and this new way of reaching people, including complete strangers, still seems like science fiction to me. However, it doesn’t really matter if you use two tin cans with string between them or zeros and ones clicking down a telephone line, the important thing is the interaction. Please leave your comments – I want to hear them.