It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve decided it’s time to start producing larger, better works rather than a few quick, little paintings. It takes time, study and patience, but I’m beginning to realize it’s worth it. A few weeks ago, I went to Grace Ranch to help Kenny with the fences and some vineyard work. Meanwhile, I took a few great reference photos of longhorns, like the Bull in the last post. One that I didn’t even realize would be important caught my eye. It was simple, peaceful and I kept coming back to look again.
The reds of the tree on the right really stood out in the light with the blue background, so I tried to emphasize this in the 6×8″ acrylic color study:
It took about 2-3 hours to lay in the scene in oil and I was pumped. “This is so easy”. Yeah. I walked away for a bit and then looking at it, I momentarily forgot what I liked about it. In artist tongue, that’s trouble. So I sat, looked, gazed and pondered. It’s time to go look at the great artists for a bit of visual instruction (like Scott Christensen and Eric Koeppel… amazing artists). I realized they all have foregrounds that set the scene and what I had was simply a background. About a week went by of tinkering and gradually learning how to get real thick, saturated, warm colors in the foreground to jump out at you. But, what would be a good, peaceful object to put in the foreground? Mom suggested sheep. Phsst. Really, sheep? Get real. Then I got a FB message from a good friend with a picture of a painting with a guy (that looked like me) and he was walking with sheep through a forest. Okay, so sheep huh? Then driving out to meet a photography group at Chalk Creek Falls, I passed by a field two miles from my house with a whole herd of sheep. Point taken.
Here’s the work as it is now. I need to fill in the foreground tree with detail (on the left), fiddle with the grass a bit more and subdue the red tree a bit (a tad too bold and blood red for a calm scene). I’m really happy with this one and can almost see the finished scene.
I’ll post the finished painting in a few days.
Here it is:
Here’s a few close up of the brush strokes