Monday, November 9, 2009

Let the Reno's Begin

Friday was a pleasant break from the cool overcast.  But it looked like the weather was not behaving in the beginning.  We went to Scottsdale Farm.  The beginning saw a raw dark sky roll in with a few hints of sun to come.  This was one of those opportunities to paint in two distinct colour keys within hours.  The challenge for the first painting was to get the key in quickly because the light was changing rapidly.  To do that I did a small thumbnail to check the composition and establish the main colour-value masses (3).  Then I chose a small (10x12) board that was coloured with the gray taken from my brush washing pots last week.  This gray is near 5 on the colour scale.  So, I only had to indicate two value masses and the painting would be well on its way.  The sky was lightest so I took a large brush (#14 bristle) to reduce the number of strokes required to mass in.  A quick mix of a cool gray and a couple of strokes and the sky was massed in as a flat colour - value.  The darkest mass was the tree line.  Darkening the sky colour and warming it a bit and the darkest mass was also in with a couple of strokes.  The middle value mass was already there.  Must have painted itself!  But it was too cool so I warmed it up quickly with a few thin strokes.  From here I could paint - variations, details etc.  Lucky, the sky and light key was already changed to warm and sunny.  The remainder of the painting was done by memory and reference to the thumbnail.

First Impression, 10x12, Oil on Board

After a quick bite, I painted the following image in blazing sun.  Quite a contrast from the first piece.  I chose a white board.  It was an experimental board with extremely coarse canvas.  Aside from the dramatic change in light key the biggest challenge was to get the white canvas covered to eliminate the tiny white spots.  It took quite a lot of paint.  I followed the same process as above but in a more relaxed state since the colour key stayed pretty much in place for a couple of hours.  Hopefully you will see a significant difference in the temperature of the colours in the two pieces.  The cool piece has less contrast, closer values, fewer shadows, and less focus.

Begining to Renovate, 10x12, Oil on Canvas on Board

It seems they are finally trying to save the essence of the farm and are into renovations.  I hope they don't go too far and eliminate the artistic lines in the old farm.

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