Friday, February 3, 2012

Making it work

Slow Decline 12x16 pastel, copyright 2012

My hair is probably a bit thinner after this one.  It was an incredibly frustrating piece, and was nearly tossed out on several occasions.  At one point everything except the barns was erased.  A big part of the problem was that I neglected to do a smaller study first and ended up putting the barn in the wrong spot to make a good composition.  And the sky was a boring, almost solid blue.  And the shadow in front of the barns was a boring blob of dark.  The barn was only interesting thing about it, and I seriously considered cropping to eliminate the rest.

But after erasing, walking away, and spending time flipping through art books and looking at other people's work on the web, I decided it could be salvaged.  Puddles of water and hints of a fence line and drive helped the foreground, along with lots of texture.  More color and diagonal clouds made the sky much better, and distant hills added depth.

Although this is based on a barn about five miles from my house here in the midwest, it somehow ended up with more of a western feel.  I think that might be due to the lack of green in the grasses and lack of trees in the distant background.  Funny how a painting sometimes goes off in an unexpected direction.  I'm glad I stuck it out.

1 comment:

  1. A learning experience I guess. I like the balance of sky to ground diagonals, sets the barn off well and draws the eyes.