Thursday, October 6, 2016

In Which I have a Rockstar Moment

 "The Apple Barn"
12 x 24 inches, oil on canvas
Framed, $700

I'm just going to say this at the outset: I'm really proud of this painting. We artists all know the feeling: a piece is working right from the beginning. I say, "It painted itself," "It fell off the brush," or "It was a rockstar moment," but I think the best description of this particular magic is that I felt in control the entire time I was painting it. And that doesn't happen all that often - maybe once every 20 paintings? 

As you can see, it was a heartbreakingly beautiful day - one of those fall afternoons that make you feel grateful to be alive.

I started with a 3-value sketch - oil paint in my sketchbook. This was extremely helpful, especially when it came to painting mid-value areas like the grass and distant hills. Green just doesn't feel all that light to my eye - in general, it's a mid-to-dark value color, and it's very saturated and beautiful in the sunlight. But, referring to my sketch, I told myself to keep it as light as those rooftops. 

Understanding that color has value - and how that works in our paintings - is a huge benefit of practicing in black and white. So, if it's been a while since you went back to basics, give it a might have a "rockstar moment" yourself!

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