Monday, 29 September 2014

Ready to Bale

Oil on Canvas, 19.75 x 27.5 inches

This biggy is a view of my own village. Looking down from the top of the field of wheat, freshly cut and ready to bale the straw, my neighbour David the farmer, has his baling machine ready to start the process. I loved the backlit drama of the view, which always creates that lovely halo effect on trees, which isn't easy to capture just right.

I haven't posted any 'in progress' pics for a while which I know some of you like to see, so I remembered to take three on the way, and here they are:
 This is the initial very loose, almost watercolour-like stage, washing in a neutral greyish sky to 'kill' the white of the canvas, then blocking in the rough tones of the main players with very thinned-down paint.

Here I've painted in the sky, using a little licence to arrange the clouds into a pleasing balance. I've also painted the distant fields and mid-distance backdrop of trees and suggested the highlights of the centre tree.
Here I've more or less completed the village houses and trees before painting in the foreground field with all the loose, dried straw and David's machinery. i used my 1" decorator's brush for most of the tree work and the straw in the field. A lot of paint was used for the field, with much of the straw lit up like little jewels in the afternoon light. 

In the final analysis, I felt the painting needed something to break up the horizontal lines of the composition, so I dropped in a plume of bonfire smoke, which I think just adds something. The smoke emits from a spot right next to my studio, the roof of which is the gable end just visible.

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