Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Harvest Time"

My cousin suggested to me a wee painting with stooks, wagon, horses, grain elevators, and prairie fields, at harvest time. We are originally from Saskatchewan where all these were a common scene in the early 1900's. This is what i came up with using some old photos, as i had no idea what a stook was until now. Southern Saskatchewan is really quite flat for the most part but i took some creative license just to make it a little interesting. Not that Saskatchewan is not interesting mind you. :) :) There are places where the terrain is varied. Further north you will find lots of lakes, forest and such. It is really a beautiful place and worth exploring if possible. This is watercolor on Arches 300 lb. cold pressed paper. It is 8" X 22".

Thursday, February 9, 2012

"Hamlet on Wye"

I decided this painting needed new life. It spent the first part of it's short life in a show in Feb. and then on my studio walls but there seemed to be something lacking. So i took it out of the frame, put it in the shower and washed a lot of the surface paint off. What is left is a very nice faded image of the village that i can use as a base painting. Quite a few of my older paintings have gone through this and the results can be fun. They don't always turn out but it is a wonderful exercise and i find i learn a lot in the process.

Here is the new version which i feel is a big improvement. Shadows really add impact and back lighting is something i've not usually attempted. I have a few more here that will get a shower and a facelift. I do this if i am pleased with the basic composition but want to add something more.

First, i added a building to the right foreground and another behind it. Beefed up the chimneys, and started to lay in some dark shadows using purple. I also added some wee characters to the sky and some more trees and bushes. Finally a whole lot of color went on everywhere.

Stronger shadows will play a new role from here on in and i hope to play with lost and found edges more. Lost edges are a weakness for sure so hope to get better with those.