Tuesday, January 06, 2015

HOW I PAINTED THIS by TOM BROWN

CLICK HERE  to purchase this 5x7 plein air oil painting
When I arrived at this farm I began exploring compositions with a number of quick pencil “value” sketches like the one shown below. I carry a short mechanical pencil with a thick, soft lead and I use the side of the lead for establishing the large masses of tone. At this stage I am interested in how the big shapes of lights and darks work together rather than creating a line drawing. I use a kneaded eraser also, pinching the edge of the eraser into a thin sharp edge which I use to lift out light accents like the tree limbs. By the way, I saved this sketch and I will include it with the painting because I think it might be interesting for the buyer of the painting to see how it all began.
I started the painting with the focal point; the tractor (below). I was interested in capturing the basic shapes and colors while not belaboring it with unnecessary detail and fussiness. I got this far on the painting when passing clouds suddenly hid the sun.
I paused for a short time while the sun was hidden behind clouds because it completely changed the colors and lighting of the scene. While I waited for the clouds to pass I shot the photo below as a record of the actual setting. Notice the sheets of clear plastic on the rows of crops. These are placed over newly planted crops; I’m not entirely sure of the reason but I assume it must provide a “greenhouse” effect as well as keeping birds from the seeds.
Moments later the sun again came out and I resumed painting. I spent some time establishing the trees and limbs shown below (as I had indicated in the pencil sketch), then I put in the wall and distant mountains. From this point on it was merely a matter of taking each area to completion. You can see the finished painting at the top of this blog posting.
If you found this interesting I would love to get an email from you. Thanks for stopping by, and have a colorful day. – Tom Brown

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