Saturday, September 1, 2012

Working Through it

Sitting on a hillside watching deer in a soybean field a quarter mile away, the sun began to turn the sky amazing shades of pink, orange, and purple. I knew I'd spend as much of the next hour watching the sky as I would the deer. I also knew from the photographs I shot, there would be a painting soon to follow.
block in stage
Once I decided on an 8x10 format, I began to block in the basic tones trying to get the basic shapes down as quickly and accurately as possible. There was a brief moment just before I shot this image when I considered leaving the painting like this. It actually rivals some of my plein air work and it took me less than 45 minutes to get this far. That leads me to believe I need to work faster when painting en plein air, but that's a topic to be tackled in another post.
Stage 2
I began to refine the sky working in small blocks from right to left (not that the direction matters). As the painting moved forward, it became even more appealing to me. This was one of those paints that, like a good book, I just couldn't leave it alone. I also knew it was going to need some birds... a small flock of mallards perhaps. So I painted them in at this point knowing I could move them if needed.
Stage 3
Refining the sky further and pushing the middle ground, the painting starts to give the illusion of depth. As I look at it now, I may have gone a bit dark on the treeline on the far side of the field. I can adjust that as needed later. I added two more mallards to the flock so the formation seemed a bit more believable.
Finally, moving forward in the composition, the corn field and the weeds in the foreground moved along rather quickly. Again, I see I've gone a bit dark in the foreground, so that will need to be adjusted before this piece gets a frame.
The hues in the sky have also been adjusted to add a bit more drama to the scene.
"Harvest Glow" 8x10 acrylic

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