The second day on the tree

Heart tree

After I got the courage to take up the brushes again and add some more paint, this is what turned out.  I really had moments of hesitation over what to do next and spent a lot of time just looking.  I have worked on it several times since that last photo and am not quite sure it is done, particularly in the lower right area, but I am pretty pleased with the results, probably more than with any landscape that I have done so far.

Another Idaho landscape

Preliminary layout

Another day in

I’ve tried another one.  No sky here.  I wanted to play with the landscape more without the distraction of the sky.  The vista is still dominated by the far landscape, but I am able to concentrate more on the foreground shrubs and trees.  It has more of a red cast than the blue of the last.  We’ll see how that works out.

Reed painting finished

Reeds in the lily pond

The reed painting is finally finished.  I must have sat and fiddled with it half a dozen times after I thought I might be done.  And I’m still not super happy with with it.  I kept playing with the shore line behind the reeds more than anything else.  I still think there is not enough definition, but I may just let it sit for a month and look at it later.

Others have said they like it, even thought I am not overly thrilled, so it must have some qualities.  (Mom said she’d take it today LOL)

Pond reed painting

Pencil up with the ground layer

Two sessions in

I thought I might be done with the pond paintings, but my husband commented in passing that he liked the reed reference photo. I said, what the heck, and decided to try another.

I was feeling pretty good about the three I had done so far, but this vegetation was quite different than the lily pads, even if the color palette was close to the same.  As I worked along, I tried to remember to keep it loose and define the shapes with dabs of color rather than sharp lines.  The preliminary work was okay, but I knew I needed more depth.

Pond Painting

Pond Painting

This last month I was inspired watching the British tv show “Landscape Artist of the Year” and decided to try something plein air myself.  It’s technically  not quite plein art as I am sitting inside behind my studio doors and painting through the glass, but it is a real landscape not a photo.  I just prefer to think of myself as well climatized.  LOL

This is about 90% finished after 3 sessions.  I like it well enough, but am not quite happy with the water yet.  I need to let it sit and percolate before I work on it again.  I think the water should be a bit more horizontal looking and something slightly more defined in the foreground.

After doing this, I am utterly in awe of some of the work I saw done in just four hours for the tv show.  It’s on Ovation tv and if you get the chance to see any of the episodes, it is well worth watching.  There is also a “Portrait Artist of the Year” and I find those episodes equally amazing.  I can’t work that fast, ever.  Or that well.

Something new

Preliminary

Final

After the eight fall home commissions were finished, I decided that I needed a change of pace.  I went back to my Idaho photos and selected one of the landscapes for an acrylic painting.  Right off the bat you can see this one has a lot fewer red tones in it than the first one.  Since I took the photos in August, the lusher spring foliage and flowers were long gone. However, there were a few daisy like yellow flowers still blooming and of course the evergreens and sage added a nice pop of color.

I am pretty pleased with the way it turned out.  Maybe I am finally re-learning about how I should use the acrylics.  There is finally an acrylic class in our art center this spring so I will have to check it out.  I could use the technique pointers.

The barn, watercolored

The watercolor barn

The watercolor barn

I must say, I do like the way this turned out. I was a bit hesitant to start the watercolor process because I haven’t done anything quite like it in a long time, but I think I did okay with it.  After staring at it for a little while, I finally just picked up the brush and threw on the paint.  I started with some greens and yellows for the trees and grass.  After I had a base for the foliage on I went to the barn. The gray siding was quite intimidating but I kept layering it.  I let it sit for a day and then added more greens, yellows, and umbers.  All in all, it took 3 days to finish.  Then I forced myself to stop because I was starting to fiddle too much.

According to the owner, the siding was made from chestnut boards and you could still see a bit of orange coloring peeking through the gray in her photos.  It adds a nice bit of contrast to the mostly weathered boards.  The barn was built over a stone foundation and I’ll bet that the stone was locally quarried or even found in the fields as they were cleared.  I am sure it has seen its share of history.  I wonder how many animals have made their home in those stalls.

Oh, and the buyer got it in the mail just yesterday and she likes it too.