Sunday, January 27, 2013

Low Maintenance

I have always enjoyed taking photos of old barns - in all shapes from old to new to failing apart. The sketch above is one of those barns, which although falling down, it was still in use. I titled this sketch "Low Maintenance."

How to Select What to Paint:
Although the photo showed a much larger area than just the barn, I selected the part I wanted to sketch by focusing on a subject for my painting, which in this case, was the "falling-down" barn with a small amount of surrounding landscape.

I sketched the barn with minimal detail and only shaded the areas that had missing boards to help me distinguish between the light and dark areas when painting. The trees and fence posts were only minimally sketched for placement only.

Often when painting landscapes, artists have a tendency to want to paint everything they see, rather than focusing on only one main part. This makes for a busy painting with no main subject. Although, the entire scene may be beautiful and inspiring, breaking the landscape up into several parts, makes for several interesting paintings, rather than one large, busy one.

Pull out your pencil and start sketching. Use my sketch as an example, or sketch one from a magazine or photo.

Next blog, we'll work on the background painting.

Happy Painting!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fence It In and Finish It Up!

Our barn painting is ready now for the finishing touches: the fence, snow, shadows, background trees and grasses peeking through the snow.

Fence Posts:
Paint the fence posts first. I used a mix of the following colors:

Burnt Umber
Burnt Sienna

These are the same color paints used throughout the entire painting. Lay down a wash of clean water first, remembering to leave part of the post unpainted for the snowy area. Then drop in small amounts of each of the above colors, varying the colors and locations of the colors on each post Allow to dry.

Shadows are painted in the snow to indicate the shape of the ground beneath as well as the shadows around the barn and by the fence posts. The shadows are painted using a wash of Ultramarine and Payne's Gray. Vary the intensity of the wash based on the amount of shadowing you need - deeper in the darker shadows near the barn and lighter in the snow areas and around the fence posts. Allow to dry.

Background Trees:
Using a wash of Burnt Umber, Ultramarine and Payne's Gray brush in your trees using a #6 round brush in a wet on dry technique.

Grasses peeking through the snow:
Use a wash of Burnt Umber and apply using the edge of a piece of plastic credit card or a small palette knife sweeping upward.

Check for details! I "painted" the barbed wire fence by scraping with a utility knife. Add any finishing touches to would like to make the painting complete.

Sign your name! Your painting is finished! Give it a title, if you would like. My painting is titled.....Just Another Winter Day!

Happy Painting!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Another Winter Day - The Barn

Now that the background trees, skies and mountains are painted, it is time to add the barn to our winter landscape. I will continue to use the same colors I used in the sky and background to paint the barn.

Apply the paint in a wet on wet wash to the barn I chose to do section at a time to allow time for the colors to blend on each side/section without bleeding onto an adjacent area.

I used the following colors on the barn:

Burnt Umber
Burnt Sienna

I used a light wash first of Burnt Sienna and while the wash was still wet, I dropped in Burnt Umber and Ultramarine in several areas and allow them to dry. I deepened the area around the roof with a mixture of Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna to add shadows from the roof.

Allow the barn to dry and then deepen the shadows in the open doors and windows.

Next blog, we'll finish the painting with details, snow shadows and the fence posts.

Happy Painting!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Another Winter Day

Another winter the barn. After sketching the painting last blog, today I added sky and background mountains and trees. In keeping with the winter season, I have decided on snow and a wintery sky.

Different seasons of the year require different colors of paint to depict the sky for that particular season. I am using a limited palette for this painting. The colors I am using are:

Burnt Umber
Burnt Sienna
Payne's Gray

Winter skies are often dark and gray with a muted blue. I painted the sky with a light wash of Ultramarine - wet on wet wash. While the paint was still wet, I dropped in a mix of Burnt Umber and Ultramarine and deepened those areas with a little Payne's Gray. I also lifted some of the wet paint with a tissue to make a few snow clouds in the sky.

The background mountains and trees were painted after the sky was dry using deeper shades of the same colors and adding Burnt Sienna.

The mountains were painted as snow covered with only snow shadows added with a mix of Ultramarine and Burnt Umber.

Allow the painting to dry and on the next blog, we'll paint the barn.

Happy Painting!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year - A New Painting!

Happy New Year! It's the time of year for new beginnings, new resolutions (or the old ones with renewed resolve), and fresh starts.

It's a great time to decide to paint more, draw more, doodle more, and enjoy more! Hobbies, like most things in life, require time that often times seem to be harder to find. BUT, watercolor painting and drawing does not take much time. Do a little at a time. You don't have to paint the whole painting or draw the entire picture at one time. Take 10 minutes at a time...draw in 10 minute segments until the picture is ready to paint. Paint one section at a time until the painting is complete. So what if it takes a month to finish a painting? You will have enjoyed every minute you devoted to your hobby and accomplished something that you might not have had the time to do in one setting.

Keep a sketch pad handy.....doodle while talking on the phone, watching TV, waiting for an appointment. You'll have the basis of a painting and you will have accomplished something in the time you would have left empty.

I started working on a watercolor painting today. I used a photo taken during a recent snow in the East Tennessee mountains. I love painting barns and this one surrounded by winter just needed to be painted. The sketch above is my barn...done is just a short segment of time. I'll paint it in the same way.....a section at a time!

What are you waiting for? Get started only takes a little bit of time to start....and before you know it, all the little bits of time will add up to a finished painting!

Happy New Year and Happy Painting!