Interpreting a Cluttered Scene

Ferdinand Petrie

This is a case where there were just too many boats. With a maze of masts, hulls, lines, reflections, buildings, and fishermen, it was difficult for Ferdinand Petrie to know where to start. He knew immediately that he could not include everything; so he concentrated on the buildings on the right and the two small boats tied to the pier. He faded the rest of the boats and eliminated the last two on the left altogether.

He used all of his darks in the foreground and left out all the texture on the building for a better vignette. He simplified the reflections and gave a simple treatment to the water. A scene like this can be overpowering if you try to include everything you see. Put all your effort into a small area and make that as interesting as you can.

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