Sunday, February 22, 2015

Yard Guard

This gorgeous rooster was one of the many that my husband and I saw as we were building latrines on our recent Rotary service project in the Dominican Republic.  While his colorful plumage was eye-catching amidst the dusty gray backdrop of his surroundings, it was his prideful attitude of "yard guard" that really caught my attention.  He was protector and defender of his family's turf, dust and all.

I made a couple of changes in my initial sketch to improve the readability of the scene:
1) Lowered the background tire so that the rooster's head would end above it and not look like he was wearing a giant halo,
2) Modified his tail.  As beautiful as it was, I didn't think it would be believable in paint.

After settling on my composition, I painted over the sketch lines and let them dry a bit before moving on to thicker paint.

One final change I made was in the rooster's stance.  I changed the angle of his legs and added a shadow to emphasize his defiant posture.  He seems to have a bit more personality this way :)
Yard Guard, 6x8 Oil, Sold


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fiddling with the Light

I loved the simple composition of this scene as I looked down on this violinist during our trip to Italy several years ago.  It was a hot day, but he found a cool spot to play in the shadow of a giant pillar.  His music was lovely.
While the composition was simple, the perspective was not.  I probably went a little overboard with the detail on my initial sketch for such a small painting, but I really didn't want to finish the piece and then realize the perspective was askew.
After my sketch lines were fairly dry, I quickly covered all the warm sunlit areas in transparent yellow and and the cool shadowed areas in transparent blue. You may need to put on sunglasses for's pretty bright!
The final painting is much softer.  My goal was to stay true to what originally inspired me (the simple composition) while "fiddling" with the warmth of the reflected light on the pillar and the musician.
Fiddling with the Light, 6x8 Oil, Sold