Posts Tagged ‘farm’

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Field View

April 4, 2019

Field View – Oil on Oil Primed Canvas Panel – 8″ x 16″

Still on “doggie hospice” as our dog, Clawed Monet recovers from illness, I am relegated to painting carefully (so as not to stain or damage the flooring) in our house (that is, not in the studio). Trying to paint faster and looser, I came up with this design. I used the barn design as a lesson in our Advanced Watercolor class and played with a wider horizontal format. Put myself in a good mindset and painted this as if I was working en plein air.

When I started the painting, I had decent light from outside. Unfortunately,  it got overcast as I was painting. Forged ahead and had this work thoroughly blocked in within about twenty minutes. I was working adjustments as my light source changed. Stopped at a good time. Came back the next day, under more favorable lighting conditions, and made a few minor adjustments. I worked to keep from overworking this aiming to maintain the fresh feeling of the brushstrokes.

Shortly after completing this work, one of the galleries contacted me. They wanted this work for their gallery display. The work has just been delivered to them. Hopefully, the work does not return to (i.e. I hope that the gallery finds a new owner for this work).

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From the Classroom – Boone Farm

March 27, 2019

Often, students mindlessly copy photographs. Too often they end up with drab, busy, boring paintings of uninspired photos. I work with the advanced students to find more opportunities within a reference photo. I implore the students not to just copy the photo. One exercise we do is to take a photo and find at least six good design options within the reference photo. Extra credit given to the student that creates the most good thumbnail sketches of good design options. (I will cover this exercise in another post).

This week, I utilized a photo reference of a local farm. The prior week, one student needed help understanding how to paint the shape of a cylinder. Another had a question concerning shadows and one other student required help understanding metal and rust.

Boone County Farm

I utilized the sketch and value study of a grain bin to demonstrate cylinder, shadow and rust. I opted to set this as a winter scene to stay truer to the reference photo. Side note, they also got interested in the atmospheric perspective I implemented.

Boone Farm Grain Bin Sketch and Value Study

This design highlighting the barn allowed me to demonstrate cylinder (the silo), shadows, and distant trees. Placed this design in a summer setting to help them imagine another option to a reference photo (that is, why does it have to be winter?).

Boone Barn Sketch and Value Study

Discussion then led to these two studies. Each one was created in less than five minutes. They are small but quickly illustrated the points and allowed the students to quickly get to work on their own designs.

Corn Crib Demo – on Canson 140# CP

Boone Barn Demo – Watercolor on Canson 140# CP.

 

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From the Classroom – Advanced Watercolor – Corn Crib

March 14, 2019

This weeks challenge was based upon the following rather drab photo reference.

Corn Crib

I then forwarded a few thumbnail options for their review.

Corn Crib Thumbnail Sketches

I intentionally left these sketches undefined. That is, with one exception, there is no indication of shadows. I am challenging my students to use their imaginations to locate photo references which will enable them to paint the scene as they would like to see it. Decisions such as what direction is the sun (left, right, background)? Season (spring, summer, early autumn, winter)? Color of structure? Additional buildings or components to augment their design?

Corn Crib Value Sketch

I created a very fast watercolor sketch to help them understand an option and witness the paint application. This watercolor was completed within five minutes while explaining my thoughts and paint applications to my students.

Corn Crib – Watercolor on Canson 140# CP 4″ x 6″

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Clouds Over Limestone Road

March 1, 2019

Clouds Over Limestone Road – Oil on Canvas – 12″ x 12″

Fall of 2017, I did a small plein air painting of this scene. The roll of the road along this farm is what caught my attention. The original painting stopped just above the trees. Soon after I completed the plein air work, one of the galleries requested this work for display. Unfortunately, the work sat at the gallery never to find an owner.

Rise on Limestone Road – Plein Air – Oil on Linen Panel – 8″ x 10″

I retrieved the original work late summer. I left the work on display in my studio where I could see it. I thought that the design might be interesting if I played with a more dramatic sky. I am currently working on a larger version of this for the galleries and have already thought up another idea for this design. More to come.

 

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Grange Hall Fence Line

February 25, 2019

Grange Hall Fence Line – Oil on Canvas – 12″ x 36″

I started this work on site in the summer of 2017. The wide layout captures the feeling of the landscape in northern Illinois. I liked the start, but felt that something was amiss. It did not feel right. It sat in my studio until this past autumn.

One afternoon, while working on another painting, an idea came to mind. I had followed the actual landscape closely. The proportions of the farm elements and the road were correct. To aid the design, I moved the road closer to the farmhouse. Moving it to the one third margin made the design work for me. Although the rework lost some of the freshness of the plein air work, I believe that this was the move to make. I doubt that the property owners will make issue of losing some of their property in my painting.

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Field Marker

February 13, 2019

Field Marker – Oil on Canvas – 18″ x 24″

Fall of 2017, I found this spot along Grange Hall Road. Harvested field to my left and grazing cows to my right. From time to time, while I painted, the cows would wander over to see what I was up to. I am sure that they thought I had food or treats for them.

The plein air work was a small 9″ x 12″ work. The plein air piece had issues. The sun was somewhat to my back. Being an early October morn, the sun was a bit lower in the sky. These conditions caused me to see the colors and values as less intense than I would like. Upon completing the plein air work, I contemplated wiping off the days mess. But there was “something” about the work that made me wait.

Over the winter, I looked at that painting numerous times. Then it started to come together for me. In real life, the sun was to my left, what if I altered the design and had the sun coming from the right? That would enable more drama with shadows from the trees and fence-line. The distant tree line was just a flat, stagnant line. What if I “invented” a distant hill side to help give motion to the distance? What if I intensified the colors? What if I simplified the tree-line to my right? A few thumbnail sketches and a small value study gave me the confidence to go for it.

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Cherry Valley Barn

February 3, 2019

Cherry Valley Barn – Plein Air – Oil on Linen Panel – 16″ x 20″

From the parking lot of a school, I was able to capture this scene. Moved fast to get a lot of this design blocked in. Was moving at a good pace and stopped after two hours. Back at the studio, made a few adjustments and finished this work. Toughest part of the studio portion was not messing up too much of the plein air effort.