All beginning painters want to know how to begin, how to proceed, how to paint an eye, and how to know when a painting is finished... of course we all learn there is no one right answer.
However, this gave me an idea - I've never tried doing a step by step painting using a 'system' that would give successful results, but thought I'd give it a shot because of limited time, and just curious. I'm still in my experimental stage with the 30/30 Challenge, so let's see what using preplanned decisions on the steps towards doing a painting in a way that could be considered as 'following a system.' This will be done in layers and with limited time for each step of 1 - 1-1/2 hours.
BTW, the subject of this painting belongs to some dear friends of mine who have a 35 acre property close by my home, and it is one of my favorite places
to hang out when I need some 'farm time'. This image is a composite of 3
resource images taken at their property, and taken on a sunny day.
Day 11 - Step One: Initial Drawing Composition
The Barn is taken from one photo, the outbuildings from another, and the field with the road a third. Using a mid-toned linen, only a round synthetic brush, and TransOxideRed, and Ultramarine blue paints. That what I used to start this painting.
In my head I thought that each element that I selected might give a sense of space and also a good lead in to the painting. The materials would be attainable for most anyone's budget.
Day 12 - Step Two: Paint in the Big Flat Shapes of Local Color
I used one flat bristle brush and my current palette of colors mentioned in yesterday's post.
The paint layers are thinner in some areas that still show the canvas, and other areas that have a heavier cover. This was mostly done subconsciously, but the lighter value areas often mixed color with opaque white usually covers more.
Day 13 - Step Three: Paint with Heavier Layers and Adjust the Values
It wasn't easy to keep to this plan, but I did, and think there are some good results. Nevertheless, it was worth trying because I learned more about handling a palette knife and have a better sense of when it might be best to use one. A palette knife remember gives a more sculptural feel to the paint in general (unless you are scraping off), and sometimes it is really effective. Yummmy, thick oil paint can be sooo beautiful when done well.
The biggest and most frustrating challenge with using only a palette knife was trying to handle the details! Looking forward to the freedom tomorrow to use any tool I want to correct some drawing errors, and going for the finish!!
Day 14 - Step Four: Finish and move on...
Tools today included anything even my fingers, and had the urge to scrap things away when I first approached the easel. Decided to follow through with the idea of using a 'system of sorts' and simply resolved that this is all I will do with this effort other than revisit the results as a reminder of the experience.
Was a bit short on time for the finish, and found I wanted to start again using a horizontal format and not limit my approach as in this exercise. Most importantly after doing this exercise, the final lesson is that whether you begin with drawing, laying in masses, wiping out, etc., each painting image requires a little different approach rather than following a 'painting system'. That is an approach I can live with!
Once again, I hope this little exercise, including my humble 'opinion', will be helpful and save you some time as you move forward with your painting.