Posts Tagged ‘fields’

h1

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″

Advertisements
h1

Between the Fields to Home

March 10, 2019

Between the Fields to Home – Oil on Canvas – 24″ x 36″

Mid-October my wife had a day off of school. We decided to venture to an apple orchard  that was over in the neighboring county. Rather than take the normal, direct route, I opted to get adventurous and take back roads. These type of adventures can uncover opportunities, and this day was no exception. As we approached a main road, I witnessed a good design in the fields across the way. I made note of it and we continued on to the orchard.

The trip to the orchard was a bust. As we neared the orchard, we realized that because of the holiday, there were a lot families at the orchard. Worse yet, because of rains over the weekend, the parking lots were mud swamps.

The next weekend I ventured back to capture a plein air painting of this scene. If not for the discovery a few days earlier, I most certainly would have passed this site. Mid-October morn. Slight clouds and humid, the scene was blurred (see below) I also made a mistake by utilizing a gray primed panel for the painting. Difficult start. As I worked the painting, things went well until thick cloud cover rolled in and completely dulled the colors of the landscape. Unfortunately, the plein air painting accurately captured that dullness.

Reference photo taken at the start of my plein air painting

I was tempted to wipe the painting off of the panel, before I left the site, but decided to wait. Back home, I felt that, while the plein air painting was not good, the design had bones. Rather than tamper with the plein air painting, I used it as a reference to create this larger studio work.

I still have the plein air piece and plan to play with it to see what happens.

 

 

 

h1

East Field at Beaver Creek

February 27, 2019

East Field at Beaver Creek – Plein Air finished in Studio Oil on Canvas – 16″ x 20″

Entering the property at Beaver Creek, you drive about 100 yards through thick woods. As you clear the woods, the barn comes into view. This morning, as I cleared the woods, I pulled onto the tall thick grasses at the edge of the bean field. I trudged through the grasses, raising a few mosquitoes, and found this view. I set up my equipment and painted.

What I have identified as a red barn has actually been converted to a home and workshop for a ceramicist. The current structure has dark brown siding and numerous windows. You can still see indications of the original structure. I felt that this design would read better as a red barn. A bit traditional, but helps avoid viewer confusion.

 

h1

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.

h1

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.

h1

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.

h1

Along Beaverton Road

January 20, 2019

Along Beaverton Road – Plein Air – Oil on Canvas Panel – 12″ x 24″

This farm is well hidden by bushes and trees along the roadside. Not much of a view from the main entrance either. Thanks to a small gap in the brush, I was able to set up my gear and work on this view. It was a rather quiet road. About an hour into this painting, a young woman stopped her car to see what I was doing. A simple greeting was all that was exchanged. About five minutes later, an older gentleman riding a golf cart rolled up (I suspect that the young woman had alerted this fellow). The gentleman looked at the painting and said nothing. I made an assumption that this might be his farm. He confirmed my suspicion but seemed stoic. Concerned that I my presence and work might not be to his liking, I offered to stop my painting and leave. He replied that I did not need to leave. Said nothing more. A few awkward moments later, he quietly rolled away.