Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ewe Too?

Thick with a winter coat and ready for sheering, these two ewes on Parrish Place Farm seemed happy to show off their fluffy wool in the soft glow of the morning sun.  I really wanted to wiggle my fingers into their deep wool!

I loved the composition of my original photograph -- the overlapping sheep (one grazing and one gazing), the slight incline of the field, and the delicate lifting of the front sheep's leg.  But the thing I was most eager to capture was the soft morning light that caressed their form.

To achieve the warm glow, I first painted the whole scene with varying values of transparent orange, mixed with transparent blue for the darker areas.  You can see the orange peeking through, even in the grass, to unify the scene.  The wool is more thickly painted with opaque paints, saving the lightest value for the glowing wool around the front sheep's face.  

She seemed a bit quizzical, so I decided she must be asking, "Ewe too?" :)
 Ewe Too?  Sold
8x10 Oil

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Azalea Glow II

On my easel right now is one of my favorite subjects - white azaleas.  It's been on my easel since before my week-long vacation and yet the paint fairy still hasn't finished painting it.  Must I do everything??  :)

Below is a photo I took that inspired a white azalea painting that did get finished.  One of the things I enjoy with these large blossoms is the "negative" space that is formed around the azaleas.  In this photo I was drawn to the shapes made by the two flowers at the lower right. 

I chose a square canvas because it allowed me to crop the image in a way that emphasized the blossoms and the interesting shapes that surrounded them.

In my painting, I stayed faithful to the composition of the cropped photograph because it had a wonderful drama to it.  Where I diverged was in my palette, allowing the glow of nearby colors to spill through the translucent petals with more intensity than the camera captured.  The subtle color shifts are what give these white flowers such a soft feel.

20x20 Oil

Now back to the blossoms on my easel....