“I sometimes avoid vistas, preferring to study more intimate subjects such as a rocky outcrop or tree trunk. These sketches usually end up being reference material for larger studio paintings.
“… Because I don’t mean to display these sketches, I don’t overly concern myself with design. Rather than worrying about the rule of thirds, for example, I place my marks in an intuitive way; I’m more concerned about studying my subject than placing it neatly within some framework.”Michael Chelsey Johnson, “Beautiful Landscape Painting Outdoors” page 133
When deciding what to leave out of a painting, the answer is sometimes “nearly everything”.
When deciding how to arrange things in a composition, the answer is sometimes “anywhere, stop procrastinating and get painting”.
And when deciding where to position yourself to paint on location, the answer might be under a bridge.