Monday, October 7, 2013

Flying by the Seat of My Pants ... or ... No Reference Photo

Not wanting to waste paper, I decided to experiment with something drawn from my imagination.  At the cooperative gallery, cards sell well. Christmas is coming [ack!], and I have to get something somewhat seasonal for a card idea. I came up with this - some sheep heading home through the snow.
I did a drop-blobs-of-paint very wet wash at the top [using cobalt blue, quin. violet and a bit of quin. burnt orange], and a very thin wash on the left side [cobalt blue and phthalo blue].   

I removed the masking, and did some shadowing and detail work on the sheep. For my liking, the background trees were too dark, and there was no cohesion.  

So I lightened the trees, and added a wet-in-wet wash of phthalo blue and quin. violet. I think that has integrated the painting well. All that is left is some more detailing on the sheep and shed.
The paper size is 11.5 x 5.5 inches, and it is Arches 140 lb. CP.

This is the second part of the experiment - trying a similar idea on the Fabriano. The paper size is 13 x 7.5 inches.
Again, I started with a very wet application for the background, using quin. gold. alizarin crimson, quin. violet and cobalt blue. The left was done as in the previous painting.

The background needed some trees ...
Another w/w application of quin. violet, quin. burnt orange and cobalt blue.

To achieve more unity, this received the same treatment along the left side with quin. violet and phthalo blue.
So far, both paintings seem to be humming along nicely.

Thank you so much for dropping by, and your comments are always welcome!  


  1. We love this experiment- and we see the sheepys, and we think they are beautiful- walking in the snow.

  2. You brave woman you!! ha and you did a gorgeous job. love,Diana

  3. Cool composition Kathryn! Even though the group is in the middle, the curve of the caravan like and arrow invites the viewer into the painting and makes us wonder what is there far far away.. I was just talking to one of my friend about the compositions in the artworks. I will need to show yours to her! Well done :0)

  4. It is such a pleasing scene, Kathryn, and without reference, wow! I agree with Irina, a great composition!

  5. Excellent and successful experiment, Kathryn! Love the sheep...I wish I had an imagination!!! LOL

  6. A great idea, and a color layout that delights the eye.
    Your imagination has worked well and ... I want more;)))
    Kisses !

  7. Very well done, love this composition with the sheep heading home :-)) I would never be able to make sheep like that just from my mind ! xx

  8. I could never have done this without photo references - good for you! And I like them both!

  9. Soooo enjoying your work - the sheep are done wonderfully and the idea is fabulous - more, more!

  10. Amazing Kathryn! This is so nice and how well done without a reference photo!
    The idea of sheeps coming home is so well chosen for the christmas idea. I love the background in both versions and the sheep are so cute with their dark feet and ears. The shadows are beautiful, my favorite shadow is the blue. Wow! Great job, it's really nice! xxx