A client wanted another painting to go with one of mine she just bought. (Sun Salutation) - see on my website. She wants a desert theme with just a touch of red. So I sent her some cactus photos I had taken and she picked this one. She said she even likes the little purple flower at the bottom.
So I decided to grid it out, because it's so complicated, and spent several hours attempting to draw it.
At this point I decided that it was looking way too busy, and I needed to simplify. Besides the fact I don't much care for that big dead prickly pear pad in the center, and wanted to eliminate some of the flower buds.
I've just finished the redraw and will start painting this week. I like it simplified, and I do feel more freedom to do a good job without having to slavishly stick to the original. One thing I will have to be careful of is putting in the shadows at the end. Eliminating some pads and some flower buds will change how the shadows fall. It will be a good exercise in observation and execution.
I'll keep you posted with it's progress.