Second of the set

Initial sitting

Almost done

Here is the second painting with the same theme and coloring.  The color palette for the last two is much cooler than the first two.  Maybe because I made the sky a deeper blue in these.

They have set for a couple of weeks due to our family vacation back in Boise, so I will be looking at both with fresh eyes before I varnish them.


Change of pace painting

Idaho foothills

Mostly done

After the intricate detail of the last few pieces, I decided to go back and paint something with a looser style.  So it’s back to the Boise foothills for a bit.  I did a fairly dark underpainting before I started with this one. I was tired of fighting the lighter colors underneath and decided to try it this way.  All in all, not too bad, but the tree still needs work.  I am doing a companion piece to this, so we’ll see what happens.

Something new



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.

Boise foothills finished

Boise foothills landscape

After about 4 sessions of painting, I am pretty well finished with the Boise painting. I’ll check again in a week or so and see what changes I think it needs, but I pretty happy with it so far.  At 16″x12″, this is the largest acrylic painting I have done in a very long time.  I tried to keep the style loose and concentrate on color rather than specific details.  For me, the heavy bodied paint works against minute brush strokes, even though I use a paint drying retardant and it thins it somewhat.  I’ll be ready to try my other big canvas with another Boise landscape soon.

Colored up cattle farm

All colored up

All colored up

It’s done and in the mail.  I’m pretty happy with the way the color turned out.  As I’d hoped, the fixative spray popped all of those greens nicely. Surprisingly, I had more trouble with the shadowed areas up on the hill rather than than all of that grass.  I couldn’t get it too dark up there or I would totally lose the foreground.  I put some yellow flowers in the front field to keep the eye from moving around too quickly in all of that green.

The red barn is a nice focal point.  It does overpower the house a bit, but what would you expect for red versus white?  The fencing turned out not too obtrusive, just a suggestion except where boards were used and then merely accented the structure nearest.  This almost makes me want to try another landscape.  All that grass actually was a little bit fun.

10,000 blades of grass…

10,000 blades of grass

10,000 blades of grass

….or at least that’s how it seems. Three and a half hours in, and all I’ve done is pasture.  That is about how long I can work before my eyes stop focusing on all of the little ink lines.  I do like it so far, though.  I plan to add some yellow and white wild flowers in the foreground to break up all of the green.  Fortunately, the barn is classic red and the house is white.  This is definitely going to be a test of my positive/negative space skills.

More grass and then the trees are next on the agenda.  Last will be the house as the pictures show 2 different facades – one with a screened porch and door and the other with a simple railing only so I need to talk to the client and find out which is correct.

(I have actually tried to estimate the number of grass strokes made and came up with almost 6,000!)

Cattle farm landscape

Farm landscape

Farm landscape

This one is a little different than my normal home portrait. If fact, it’s pretty far away, seeing as the house and the barn are way back there and it is really more of a landscape.  The drawing measures ~18″x7″ which is also a change from my usual working sizes.

The inking will take a lot of time here – lots of grass and trees.  In talking it over with my client, I decided the pastels would be more suitable than the watercolors. The richness of the sprayed hard pastel will enhance the landscape, although I will probably use a little watercolor on the small fence areas and the barn, just because it will be easier to lay a color base and then just shade a bit with the pastels and maybe a little colored pencil.

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