Monday, September 6, 2010

A Farmer's Work...

In the past few years, I've become increasingly more interested in natural, sustainable eating and health. This image from Wetcanvas spoke to me of going back to the natural, safe way of eating...hard work, and "real life" instead of the pounding onslaught of consumerism. I want to have a better life. One where we slow down, and enjoy what we've made, and smell the clean air, and be in nature. 
This is the photo, on my computer monitor which I routinely work from instead of photos. I like that I can enlarge sections, play with the color and contrast, and crop it till it works. So much of the preliminary stuff can be done on the computer instead of spending hours doing sketches and color studies. I admit, I'm a bit lazy when it comes to that stuff...

So here's my set up. I don't have a fancy studio. I don't have optimal lighting, I have to do the best I can with what I have. Which is a really bright kitchen!:) The thing I absolutely love about my house is all the windows. They wrap around the whole house, filling it with natural light from all directions...which isn't so great for painting still lifes, but it works for now.

And here's the beginning stages of my new painting.  I've covered the canvas in a thin layer of acrylic in a light, misty green. I think it was Payne's Grey, Burnt Umber, and Hooker's Green, mixed with Gesso. I mixed the top section a little greener, and the bottom a little browner, as it will be tilled soil.
I did a grid with vine charcoal for this one, as it's fairly large, and I wanted to make sure I got the horse bums all in the right place:) You can see the ghost of it where I rubbed it out. I like vine charcoal because it doesn't really muddy your colors if you paint over it, and it wipes or rubs off very easily. Here, I've just drawn in the basic outlines of the main elements and started a block in of the basic colors for the first two horses and the farmer. I try to remember that it's cool light, so the shadows will be warmer, and I also want the painting to have a mistier, more atmospheric look, so I'm lessening the contrast and cooling out the colors a bit more than in the photo.

Next post will be stage two...now I have to go paint it!
Cheers!