Monday, June 30, 2014

Practice Run for a Larger Painting

Since I have recently done two paintings with which I am not pleased, I thought it would be wise to do a practice  run  on this one - doing the bottom half of the image.
I began with an aureolin w/w wash over all except the flowers. Then I started the buds and leaves. I had originally mixed quin. gold with phthalo green[yellow shade], but found that the blue shade of phthalo green really gave a much more vibrant green. So far, I have just laid in shapes with light w/w washes, the form and cast shadows will have to be done using complementary colors, I believe.

Although this does nothing for me as a composition, I did learn a good technique. I wet the entire painting from mountains on down [including the robes, but not the heads] and did a graded wash with quin. burnt orange. The pigments on the robes moved minimally - I was surprised at that. It just gave a nice softness to the orange shapes.

And this ... should have left it as a vignette. I tried to put a body on the calf's head and neck, and then tried to give the impression of a stall shape around the calf. Ummm ... NO! I did learn how to better add intense, dark pigments in a soft manner though, so not a complete loss ...  

These are the latest nesters!!! The barn swallow nest is built right over the door into the tack room, so I am in an out several times a day. And the little darlings are peeping and chirping every time. I honestly didn't think mom and dad would have a family here, as it is busy [relatively speaking] compared to the rest of the barn. But they did, and I love them - so cheerful!!!

I didn't want any accidents with babes falling out of the nest, so today I strung an old towel across the top of the doorway, about 6 - 8 inches below the nest.

And His Highness and I are getting along wonderfully ...

Thank you for dropping by! Your comments are always welcome. 


  1. We have barn swallows nesting in our barn too and we can't figure out how those big babies don't fall out of the nest and right down on top of us!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  2. I honestly can't see a problem with the shapes around the cow... I keep looking but I think it is a very successful painting! And I love that orange! So vibrant! :0)

  3. Wow - I love your practice run...also thank you for sharing how you did the mountains and the three figures...personally I like the composition...as for that lovely calf what a sweet face....you have a way with animals in more ways than one...love the sheet idea for those barn swallow babies. Also Your highness is looking pretty happy munching on this month's sweet grass. Have a lovely week and thanks for sharing.

  4. We love your creations. We can feel them!
    Sweet little baby birdies,, you are such a friend to them!

  5. You're such a good mommy, Kathryn! putting a towel under these little babies!!!!
    LOVE all the work you're doing...you SHOULD be pleased with them all.!!!