Saturday, August 19, 2017

Nature's Bounty, the final step

Finishing it up

As I said in the previous post, I had to do something to break up the static oval shape of the center wagon wheel, so I have added a lot of clumps of grass, some of which break up those lines. Those clumps also make the scene more natural looking.

You can see what a tremendous difference that makes. I'm happy with it now.  

Nature's Bounty, 16 x 20, oil on linen

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Nature's Bounty, Step 6

Refining unfinished areas

Starting again in the background, I have brightened up the valley a bit, refined the trees on both sides of the wagon, developed the ground with some areas of grass and contrasted the shadow pattern in the dirt area. My idea here is to get the sun shining on the wagon and it's flowers.

So I have added brighter lights to the  wagon and flowers, and some cascading white blossoms to the back of the wagon, which will help bring your eye into the rest of the flowers. In composing any painting, it is important for the artist to guide the viewer's eye around the painting so that the viewer will see everything. The artist is like a movie director in that way.

I have also added a little bird on one of the wagon rails to move your eye in that direction.

I'm still bothered by the center wagon wheel staring me in the face, so I will have to come up with a solution. It's distracting as any geometric shape is: a square, a triangle, a circle, and in this case, a perfect oval.  Not good.  The viewer's eye gets into these shapes and goes round and round and round and can't get out.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Nature's Bounty, Step 5

Developing the colors and shapes

Starting from the top, I worked my way down refining the clouds, then the mountains and valley,
then the middle ground trees, and finally the wagon, the flowers, and the foreground. I made sure there was plenty of ultramarine blue in the background so it would recede, as colors gradually get warmer as they come forward.

I played around with the trees on the right, but I'm still not happy with them. The trees on the left still need to be refined as well.

The biggest change I made was to the foreground, where I added dirt to replace the paved concrete like it was in the original reference photo.  I didn't want it to look that commercial...I wanted it to be on a natural looking surface.  I'm still struggling with the cast shadows though.  

When I was finished for the day and stood back from the painting, all I could see was the big wagon wheel in the middle staring me in the face.  I would definitely have to do something about that.  You can also see that the wagon wheels are kind of floating in space, so I will have to take care of that too.  

Developing the painting.  

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Nature's Bounty, Step 4

Laying in a color foundation

As I wrote in my previous post, I had some thinking to do and some decisions to make.  First, I needed some cascading flowers, so I googled it and among hundreds of possibilities, I chose this one for inspiration. I could see just a hint of a mountain, which I liked, but I wanted more for good depth.

Inspiration for cascading flowers
 Next, I needed some mountains, and when I was in southern Germany I did a lot of photography, but the scene here was the most spectacular.  Breathtaking, actually. For those of you who are dying to know where this is, it's Burgfelden in the Swabian Albs.  Even the clouds are impressive.  So this was basically the background for my painting. It sure gives the painting depth.

Inspiration for backgrounnd

So with these two inspiring photos at hand, I combined them with the wagon and painted in the colors for a preliminary color lay-in.  You can see, I still haven't decided on the middle ground.  I want to have the wagon so that it doesn't look like it's going to fall off a cliff, but at the same time, I want to suggest that it's a part of a mountain top garden display.  

The color lay-in

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Nature's Bounty, Step 3

Establishing the values

The next step was to go from the burnt umber drawing to laying in the values.  At this point I was still focusing on some of the original background that you can see in the wagon photo with a vague idea of some mountains in the background.  I wanted to show some depth...and it's always a good idea to have a foreground, middleground, and background. It helps to move the eye around, add interest, and a sense of place.  After all, the wagon was in southern Germany.

I have barely suggested some cascading flowers and greens in the wagon, but am still unsure as to the exact direction I am going.  Lots to think about.

The value lay-in