Friday, November 27, 2015

Wheat - Attention to Detail

This painting was quite a challenge for me.  Well, I was trying to challenge myself not to rush through it and think it through a bit more than I usually do.  But, I did get stuck at moments.

It began with the sky.  Whenever I am unsure of myself, I can always start with the sky, it is a motivator for me and one part of my paintings that I have a bit of confidence in.

As I was working on the sky, it helped me to decide what I'd like to do next.  I wanted a silo, wheat field and a barn too. So I began researching silos, wheat and barns.  When I decided on what I liked and where I would put them on the canvas, instead of just starting to paint them in, I actually, quickly sketched the barn and silo with pencil, which is not something I normally do.  I was on to painting shortly after the research finished, because with acrylic paint, the sky and horizon were already dry.  Acrylic dries fast.

I went ahead and painted in the base color of my land where the wheat would be and played with the sky some more.  I knew I needed to make everything on the left side of the barn darker and place my shadows just so because the sun was actually coming from the right side.  I worked on this through out each step of the painting.

To make the wheat in the foreground stand out more I had to darken the shadows and field even more.  Knowing I wanted the sun to be hitting my most forward wheat, I began placing it in here and there with white paint.

I got stuck for awhile on my wheat.  I kept going lighter and lighter and it continued to blend in with my sky until I was pretty frustrated.  It wasn't until I bit the bullet and went darker on the wheat did I fix the problem.  Then I was able to highlight the wheat to make it look as if the sun was hitting it.

But, oh that barn, I couldn't figure out what was wrong.  It looked too perfect and that's when I began working on the roof, giving it some age.  

I gave it a road, added more wheat and still wasn't happy.  It was the barn, I knew it was, but just couldn't think of what exactly it was about the barn.

Though adding those elements helped, it wasn't until I actually aged the wood that it came to life.  Put some holes and places where the wood had chipped away and was finally was able to move on.

A bit of light coming from the hole in the roof down into the inside of the barn, darken up the sky a bit more on the left.  Bring a few clouds on the horizon on the right.  Fix the silo shading.  And I think I've got a finished painting.

Growing up, scenes like this weren't something I noticed everyday, in fact not very often at all.  But there is something so inviting and breathtaking about the countryside, I would be happy living in a barn with this as my yard.  Wish I would have paid more attention to details like this while growing up.

I hope you enjoy my wheat field, barn and silo.  I really loved painting this scene and learned quite a bit from the experience.

This is an acrylic painting on stretched canvas.   If you would like a print of this particular work, please visit my store by clicking below to view the posters.