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.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Paint With Black, White and Gray

Even if all you have is black, white and gray paint, you can still paint anything you like.  I'm going to be experimenting with this technique a bit more, but I really did enjoy keeping it simple.  This painting is on canvas and painted with acrylic craft paint, black, white and gray.

There are some touches with watercolor pencil.  Three shades to be exact, French Green and Staedtler #50 another green. Then add Staedtler #30, a blue touch for the rain and droplets.

After lightly penciling in the flowers and stems, I just began my background with black, gradually working up the canvas adding a touch of white as I moved upward and gray.

This was my first attempt at raindrops, so I Googled them, studied them and tried it.  Yes, I was afraid of failing, but now I've actually got something to build on for the next time I try.  They are not the greatest, but they will do in a pinch.

I enjoy the look of lead pencil and the act of shading.  This worked much like it, just a different look.

You should try it.  If this becomes your palette think of the space you would save in the studio.

On dreary days as it's pouring or drizzling rain, it seems my mind will always turn to flowers and especially sunshine or light.  Even on these kinds of days God can help us turn our minds to happy, positive visions and thoughts.

God gives us His light to see us through, even on days like these.