The Greeter

August 29, 2013
The Greeter; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 8" x 10"

The Greeter; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 8″ x 10″

I had the opportunity to paint at Indian Hill Manor. It is an estate just southwest of Rockford. I must have driven past this place more than a hundred times but never knew it was there. The estate is adjacent to a forest preserve. The property borders an active road, but the trees are thick. Camouflage. I was told that the estate is being kept closed to the general public but will be used for meetings by conservations groups.

I arrived around 8:30am. By the time that I received some introductions and a quickie tour, it was after 10:00am. I still wanted to get some painting in before noon. During my tour, I noticed the beautiful play of light off of the statue near the front door. I set up under the minimal shade of a small tree and got to work.

I took a few minutes to make a few sketches in my sketchbook. Thought that I had the right design. However, as I was completing my block in, I realized that the design would not work. Took a few moments to analyze and determine a more workable solution. Another quick sketch to help lock in the shadows. Wipe off the first block in, sketch the new design onto the canvas and start a new block in. This time, much better. The painting was fun, but the statue took a lot of time. It was a challenge to capture the feel of all the architectural factors and elements and keep them as a background. All of the lines and shadows and details could become a focus if they were allowed to stay sharp and hard. An delicate touch with the brush helped to soften the lines and forms.

Unfortunately, this painting took almost two hours to complete. For such a small painting, that seems too long, but the results made the time investment worth it.

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