This is my quarter sheet draft of the painting I worked on the past two days. I wrote a lot about it in the post about the studies so I won’t go into much detail here on the process. But, I do want to show some of the photos from the process, and reflect a bit on where I can improve, because I do want to paint this as a full sheet.
I used a quarter sheet of 300# Arches cold-press for this. I don’t normally use such heavy paper, but I built a lot of confidence in this painting by doing so many studies, so I wanted to use the heavier paper because I fairly certain I would like the results.
The painting started with a flat wash in the sky, and a wet in wet wash for the crops. These need to be painted wet in wet so they will blend into the sky. In my opinion, this was all done well.
I then painted the crops as rectangles to preserve the fence as a white area, when I got to the spot between the second and third bars, I stopped the crops, and painted the grass, so I would get a wet in wet edge there. I did not make this transition quickly enough, and there is a more crisp line there than I want.
I then pulled that grass color out from under the fence, and painted the ground to the right of the fence. I should have neutralized the green more at the base of the fence.
I then painted the distant hills, and used a cloth to lift color at the base so I could give the impression of mist. I like the color I used on the hills, but I don’t like the way the hill roses on the left to match the crops. I think it would feel more dimensional if the hill wasn’t really visible on the left.
I then warmed up that same blue and painted some near trees, wet in wet, which worked quite well.
I ended up fiddling with the nearer trees a little more, and I wish I hadn’t. I thought some more darker values would add interest to that part, but it just kind of reads as muddy. It’s not an egregious mistake fortunately.
I then painted the shadow of the fence using Serpentine green. Instead of just painting lines, I tried to paint ragged shapes using a fairly dry brush. My thought was, Sony paint the shape of the fence on the ground, instead, paint the underside of the blades of grass in the places where the light doesn’t hit them. I think this worked well.
I then painted the fence, house, and tree. I focused on the fence and painted it very meticulously. I like the dry brush effect on the nearer bars, and should probably use this on the other bars as well. I also tried to preserve a larger white highlight on the lower bars than on the upper bars because the viewer should see more of the top of the lower bar than she can see of the upper bar.
The shadow on the house could be more pronounced, but I am afraid to go back and darken it because I don’t want to make it too dark.
I like that I used a dry brush on the tree on the side nearer the light source. It really gave some fabulous highlights.
I tapped one drop of Quin gold into the bottom right corner of the door, which I really like. I think it makes a very fun little moment that you wouldn’t notice unless you looked for it.
I then finished with some additional leaves on the tree, and lifted pigment from the trunk to give it some shape. I like the way there lifted highlights work along with the highlights from painting with a dry brush.
That’s it. I like this one. I’m glad I used heavy paper-it’s pretty nice to work with.
Things to do differently on the next one:
- Let the fence rise more in the mud ground, and fall into the foreground.
- Preserve more white on the grass near the horizon.
- Move the house a bit to the left still.
- Don’t paint the distant hill on the left.
- Allow the crops to blend with the grass at the base a little more.
- Don’t paint darker trees in the distance.
- Use a darker value for the shadow on the front of the house.
- Use dry brush on the fence bars in the midground.