Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cattle Crossing

The forecast was for temperatures about 90 degrees, so we settled in the shade on the edge of a stream on the farm. The band of sunlit bright green of the mowed field was very attractive to the eye. Cloud cover moved in and it was quite comfortable. Having done a very simple 8x10 study and taken reference photographs, I returned to the studio. I sketched a simplified version of the view from photos, then proceed to tone the canvas olive to represent the background trees. I used Viridian in the dark foreground trees to give them warmth and make them move forward.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rain, Akers Farm

After visiting a gallery, I was returning in a downpour and passed the Akers Farm outside Danville, Kentucky. I've always loved this farm for its expanse, presence of cattle and collection of buildings. I quickly pulled over, rolled down the window and snapped the shutter while passing cars passed in a spray of water. The clouded sky occluded most of the sunlight above the clouds, resulting in a dark land mass. a dramatic scene.

Back in the studio I adjusted the trees, simplified details, and herded some cows together!

Friday, June 12, 2009

On Jane's Farm

Finding a good composition on this extensive farm might have been a challenge, but a fellow artist pointed down the road and said there were barns there. Walking down the road, this scene appeared and needed no modifications to make it a good composition. I started working at about 9:30AM under overcast skies and around 11:00 a dark band was seen in the west. The rain started at about 11:45 and we threw everything in the car and headed off to lunch, bumping over cattle grates. It reminded me that "A bad day painting outdoors is still better than a good day in the office".