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Cobalt Barn

October 30, 2018

Cobalt Barn – Oil on Canvas – 11″ x 14″

This was started as a demonstration for a workshop I hosted.

The first part of the lesson involved editing the scene. The photo of the scene was cluttered. I made six thumbnail drawings to enlighten the students about the possibilities of this opportunity. The grayish blue structure was my inspiration, my subject. I edited the chain link fence, an arbor, the massive tree behind the barn, an old horse, the fence in the foreground, brush growing to the right and in front of the barn. I amended / modified the building to the left, added the shadows (the reference photo was taken on an overcast day). Simplified the design.

The second part of the lesson was to illustrate to the students that they did not have spend hours doing a detailed drawing on their canvas. Also, to get the students thinking about moving fast to quickly capture the entire scene. Working all parts of their canvas to establish the design.

After quickly applying strokes to get the basic drawing (barn was fairly drawn, but most of the subordinate characters were faint indications and obscure lines. Once this was in place, I moved fast and deferred questions for a few minutes. Just shy of twenty minutes into this work, the students saw that my painting was established. I could walk away from that painting and everything read clearly enough. My point is to keep the students from lingering in isolated sections of their painting. They also witnessed how minor imperfections and mistakes were not fatal. I pointed out areas of the start which would need to be addressed and corrected.

I allowed the students to start their paintings and after I had them painting, I returned to this work. I would paint for a few minutes, then wander around to lend assistance as needed. By the end of the day, this work was basically complete.

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