Medium: Oil on Canvas
Working Title: The Mill
On the Easel
This is a subject that I have wanted to paint for quite a while, so here goes! Underpainting done using red and yellow acrylics. The hot red will lay underneath the cold blues, and the yellow will tint the stones that make up the mill itself. The red will combine with the blues to create a very vivd color, and typically shows through in a few areas to create varying hues of blue and purple. I like to let the red show through the clouds occasionally as well.
I really didn’t like the way the background came out, so I did it over again. I like this much better.
The soft edges of the clouds are created by laying in the white and using the edge of a 1″ – 2″ flat brush to “pull” up the edges of the white, which creates “strings” of white over the blue. Then I use a 2″ white Bob Ross “Blender” brush and VERY lightly go over the entire area with horizontal strokes. When I say “lightly” I mean you should not even feel the brush touching the canvas, but you will see the paint moving.
Keep at it until you get the desired effect. I get a lot of comments about how flat and smooth my work is, and how the brush strokes disappear. This is the technique that allows me to accomplish that.
Today I added the water and the beginnings of the foreground area… this combination of colors is taking FOREVER to dry!!
The gentle blending of the water into the clouds creates a soft horizon line obscures the hard edge, and makes an interesting transition point. The eye is drawn here as you search for that point where the sky and water meet.
Today I sat down and painted the Mill and added more detail to the foreground. The soft colors in the shadows on the ground create interesting and colorful places for the eye to roam. Using colors that are slightly “out of place” helps to create a mood that defines the overall statement of the piece.
Never underestimate the importance of the little details that make up the whole work. They are really what keeps the viewer locked into the piece and allows them to spend time in the world they find there.
Today I added the finishing touches with the figure and bird in flight.
I never add elements like this just to “fill a space”. I believe these types of details must have a purpose and a meaning. They must be significant.
These elements are the ones that cause the viewer to begin asking questions inside their head, causing them to search for answers.
That is the point of my work. Each viewer arrives at different answers, and therefore they arrive at a different place in time, inside the finished work of art.
Another one DONE!!
After showing at the Leap of Faith Gallery, this piece sold to an artist in Fort Collins, who said it inspired him to take up painting again. Now that is the kind of story that makes it all worthwhile!
See you again soon…