Here is where I left you last week. By my comments section I know that there are other painters following along here so I will provide some monologue to describe my process. If you are bored by this please shuffle on down to more pictures. This blog helps keep me accountable to some degree so it is a good exercise ; hopefully it has some value to others.
The actual scene did not have many of the elements that are roughed in here. What it did have was a great overview to some clay banks and Giants Head Mountain on the far side . The houses and farms below did nothing to further my idea so they were jettisoned to make way for my gently contoured land and some suggested grapevines. I introduced water for some relief from all this dryness .
In the next image I've developed a sky scape and background. My tree is almost fully realized and I've installed an old roadway to aid my idea. I apologize for the blurry photos. I am in the thick of it when I do remember to pick up the camera for a quick shot before I dive back in.
The next image is after a week of painting, scraping out, contemplation and repainting. Remember this is 3X4 ft so I am stretching myself with the scale of this . Lotsa smiles though.
Oil paint gives me plenty of time to move things around. I use pure paint with just a touch of Liquin. As you can see, I have created some cloud interest in the sky. I have modeled them in a formation that is believable and directs your eyes back into the important areas of the composition. If I left us with a cloudless blue sky there is a good chance that your eyes would escape out of the top of my painting and then who knows what nonsense they could become distracted by. Better that I try to corral them back into my world.
Giants Head and the surrounding farmlands are holding up pretty well here. I want those vertical forms to read as one large shape in a common value. Even where the sun washes over the horizontal land I cheat a bit and keep my colour saturation high. That helps to unify things. When you cut your painting up into little unconnected light and dark values it loses its design strength. Remember, I am attempting to compose. I am not replicating the scene. This scene exists nowhere but it FEELS like a typical Okanagan location.
The pine tree has been lifted out of the earlier plein air painting. Now I've made it with back lighting so I will use my outdoor experience to model it correctly. I've bent the main trunk and moved some elements around to give it more interest. As the branches reach up into the sky they lose some value and some colour intensity. Likewise the exposed branches.
I will try to conclude this painting on the next post.
My little chicken flew the coop on the long weekend, off to live in Vancouver.