Spring is one of my favorite times of year. I love the daily changes of the scenery, flora and fauna. And I love that yellow-green color of newly budding trees which is so fleeting. In fact, the dark green of midsummer is one of my least favorites but that is a topic for another day.
Last weekend, after what seems to have been the never-ending winter, found me outdoors on an early Saturday morning. This time to capture the old homestead with newly budding trees and their shadows. A toned canvas which is good for filling in but wasn’t really necessary in this case. The most difficult part was to narrow down the subject to something manageable. If you have trouble doing this, purchase or make a small view-finder.
As you can see in this step-by-step, I laid in as much of the bones as possible before the light moved significantly. This took about two hours. I later finished the painting in the studio.
Some items of note. Even though this portable easel has leg spikes, I should have anchored it with a rope and stake on this windy morning. No real damage occurred but I just had to pick out bits of grass. More texture, right? Also, notice the big mistake which I didn’t discover until I was back in the studio. The upper-storey windows on the side of the main building didn’t match the front of the building. I’ve done enough houseportraits to know this but in the heat of the moment of slinging paint, didn’t pick it up. So…more corrections in the studio. Adding more paint, details, filling in spaces, working on the contrasts. Finally, a pretty good plein air painting of a springtime scene. Get outdoors and try it yourself!