Monday, February 8, 2010

Willie or Fred?

Last Friday we painted in the Hockley Valley area.  After a quick lunch and warm up we stopped on the south side of a deep valley.  The sun was still hidden.  So more training the eye for cool light and overcast.  Over the outcrop I was painting, some movement in the sky attracted my eye.  A pair of Turkey Buzzards circled lazily in a thermal.  No wings a flappin'.  They slowly moved their spiral over to us to see if we were road kill.  Then it occurred to me.  I had not seen these birds in the sky while painting all winter.  Later I referenced the trusty bird book and found that the Buzzards should be south.  Is winter over?  Wiarton Willie said no, six weeks to go.  Better get a painting.

Even Closer, 10x12, Oil on Linen on Board

This is what I got done before packing in at 3:30.  The first linen on panel I have painted since buying a few yards.  It took a lot of preparation, even for this tight weave smooth linen.  The paint goes on beautifully but the surface is very abrasive.  I will prepare more door skin this way.

This morning I gave this painting a few more strokes.  It didn't paint itself against the wall over the weekend.  The soft touch of the foliage covering the left side of the barn I left alone.  I made the outcrop less symmetrical, added paint to the sky in a value and colour gradation, and treated the foreground snow simply to add some depth.  I'll get a picture when the paint dries a bit to eliminate any reflection.

After the tightness of the morning paint I was able to use the #14 bristle filbert to paint the majority of this from the beginning wash through the end saving a clean #8 for finish dry brushing.

The palette was Ultramarine, Mineral Violet, Viridian, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Orange, Alizarin and Titanium White.

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