I’ve become a Challenge Whore. I’ve taken hundreds of photos I could use as reference, yet I roam the net at night, searching for something different to paint. It’s not that I’m bored with my own photos. It just seems that I get into a rut when I get to choose every subject. Sometimes I need an assignment to force myself to break the mold and learn how to solve new problems. Often the photos posted in these challenges are things I’d never paint in a million years. For example, quaint little country lanes and old stone barns are far outside my personal experience and so NOT ME. So I had to try it.
This challenge was found in the Landscape forum on Wet Canvas. Thanks to the photographer, Yorky, for sharing this photo with the artists.
Here are some images captured along the way:
Since I’m not comfortable with architectural elements, I spent a little extra time on the drawing.
Talk about the “ugly stage”! Diving in with watery gouache and some bright color for the underpainting. Bright yellows and reds work best for me underneath foliage. It keeps the greens looking more natural. All the colors of Fall are always present in foliage. They’re just masked by green chlorophyll. It’s my job to expose them.
See how dull it looks now that I’ve added some greyed greens on top? But the underpainting is still there, influencing the paint in subtle ways.
I actually liked how the bush on the left turned out…
… so why’d I have to go and mess with it some more? That’s the story of my life as an artist – I never know when to stop. Uggh. It was looking so bad so I had to wipe it off with a wet paper towel. That’s the great thing about gouache – you can erase! On the down side, because it remains water soluble you have to work really fast if you want to keep previous layers from lifting. You get only one chance to lay down a good stroke.
The photo reference was taken on an overcast day, but I found myself adding some sunlight.
Fixed the bush, sharpened up the details, and we’re done! Now on to that Lake Michigan rower that Karin posted last week on DSFDF…