Harvest Glow, 24x24
Every year, I re-evaluate what I've done and where I want to go with my work. It's a yearly exercise that has moved me forward at a comfortable pace. Sometimes, but not always, I have to re-adjust my goals mid-year. Then to top it off, I write down one word or phrase that encapsulates my yearly goal. Do you write your goals out for the year?
One of my written goals for this year is to create a series of 12 large farm scenes in a variety of seasons and time of day. I had previously painted and posted "Color Field" which I am very satisfied with and plan to keep for my own personal enjoyment. "Harvest Glow" is the same point of view as "Color Field" from the family farmhouse. You can see the similarities in both paintings, however I may re-align the trees a bit from painting to painting to add variety to the series. In the sky I used a variety of colors and inspirations to create this completely made up sky. No, it's not from any particular photo resource, except for the layout of this farm scene. So you may say I'm using some creative license on this one.
As always, I like to show the work in progress (WIP) of my larger, more elaborate work for those visitors who are curios about how I do it. Enjoy!
Before I apply any medium, I will lightly sketch with pastel pencils and mark my guidelines for the piece. This is a road map of sorts and is always being readjusted as I move along in the piece. As always, I paint an underpainting. I use Createx Pure Pigment paints for this first step. I wanted a glowing feel to the finished piece so I used very vivid, warm colors of orange and red-orange. I cover all of the white Wallis paper so no little specks of white peek through.
Figuring out the values of the sky is what I tend to work on first. This is simply because it is the most distant element of the painting and I'd like it to be "layered" as I go along. I also began with the dark tree line as well to help establish my darkest values too.
Adding more colors to the distant sky including the light, fluffy drifts above. Throughout the painting process I ended up reworking the clouds quite a bit since these were imaginary and had nothing to go by.
I'm working at a fast pace now, moving from ground to sky to distant hills and back again. I'm thinking of putting a little of that cool purple in the field and sky to help hold the piece together.
Quieting down now, my work becomes focused on detail and mood. I ask myself many questions at this point near the finishing point. Does the distant view between the break in the trees draw too much attention? Does the eye move through the piece? Do I have good value and color contrast, yet united in scope? Your thoughts are encouraged.