Wednesday, November 2, 2011

17. John Deere and a re-do

Ol' John Deere 5x7 oil/linen
from photo reference kindly supplied by Ron Swearingen

Today's effort  was to practice "a brushstroke laid is a brushstroke stayed". (quote from artist Larry Seiler).
In other words, make each stroke count - look before you leap, pay attention,  hold hands before crossing, etc. etc.
This was fun... picking a subject that, for me, was not the usual, meant I couldn't slip into blending or painting what I know.  I briefly sketched this out with some thin paint, just to get the general lay of the land, and then started filling in color.  I did pre-mix 4 greens - a cool highlight color, the local rich green color, a darker warm green, and finally a very dark shadow color.  I didn't mix enough and had to re-mix, not exactly matching (note to self for next time: use more paint!)  The pre-mixing did help basically choose one of those four categories for the shape I was painting.
Now's a good time to remember a very simple, but extremely important adage from fellow artist Stapleton Kearns.  That is:
Everything is either in the light, or in the shadow.

I know that sounds simple, but if you will look next time you go to set up to paint, and categorize every shape - is it in the light, or is it in the shadow?   - then you will be able to manage both your values and colors to create a believable image.  Knowing what parts of this ol' tractor were getting direct light, indirect light, and shadow made painting it a breeze.

and the re-do?  From yesterday.. I realized I had set myself up for failure having not planned my values well.
So, I scraped down that white pony and re-painted him in a dark value. duh... makes so much more sense. I don't know if this made a huge difference in the appeal of this particular painting, but, I had to try it.

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