How to Paint a Barn, Lesson 3

Okay, today I added more detail, highlights and color to the picture.

Lesson 3 in How to Paint a Barn with Oil Paints

How to Paint a Barn with Oils, part 3: adding definition and color

It’s starting to take shape now (the colors are richer in real life than in the photo of my painting, because of glare from the wet paint). I added highlights and color to the grass (naples yellow, yellow ochre, burnt sienna and titanium white mixed in varying degrees) and added more definition to the trees in the back (added oranges (cad.yellow med. with cad. red light), yellows, and greens. I fixed a few problems. I also added the tree to the right, to prevent the eye from “leaving” the painting; I like the starker look of the bare branches against the sky.

It’s almost done! I hope you enjoyed this lesson. My goal was to make the barn the center of interest, by using warm colors; and creating a path leading to the barn. I also used the lights on the grass to lead the eye in. I had a friend come over today, who wants to buy this, and it’s not even done!

Barns are really fun to paint; this is one in my new “Barns of Michigan” series of paintings.

How to paint a barn: lesson 2

In this part, first I block in the main colors for the barn and grass. I like to put in warm darks first.

Lesson 2 in how to paint a barn in oils

Blocking in main parts of painting

Now you can tell it’s going to be a barn. The russets (burnt sienna), greens (sap green, ultramarine blue, and cad. yellow light) and highlights (yellow ochre, mixed with white and brown) and shadows( dioxide purple and ultramarine blue) are getting started.

Next, I add some more highlights and shadows, refining a bit, and adding more color:

Lesson 2, second part in How to Paint a Barn

adding more highlights and shadows

The glare on the right side makes it hard to see this part of the painting (wet paint) but you can see the difference in the roof (I lightened it a bit) and on the left.

How to Paint a Barn with Oils: Part 1

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! If I had thought about it, I would have painted a wild turkey for today…a few weeks ago, there were tons running around everywhere. Now, they are all gone, in hiding. Smart birds.

I’ve decided to paint a barn; I plan to keep it fairly “loose”. In painting a landscape, I like to start with the background, or sky, first. After all, the trees will have their branches against it. So…here’s the start:

How to paint a barn, lesson 1, sky blocked in

Michigan Barn, sky getting blocked in

I like ultramarine blue, so I created the sky areas with a mix of this and titanium white, deepening the sky further up in the painting. I then created the clouds, painting wet into wet, with a mix of yellow ochre, dioxide purple, brown and titanium white. I added bits of blue as well, and brushed the clouds in to make them soft and give depth.

In the next lesson, I will be working on the barn and foreground. Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Lake Michigan: Symphony in Blue

I love painting water, and in this one, I wanted to play with the range of blues in the evening (I went semi-abstract).

Symphony in Blue, painting of Lake Michigan in oils

“Symphony in Blue” original oil painting, 16 X 20 canvas wrap

I used cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, alizarin crimson, burnt sienna, cad. red light and titanium white; along with sap green and cad yellow light for the palette.

Birds of Michigan: Blue Jay

It’s snowing a lot today, and the Blue Jays are feeding on corn that gets scattered on the ground, as well as seeds the other birds drop from the three seed feeders on our front porch. I enjoy their color and curiosity, in spite of how aggressive they are.  So, this inspired a painting:

Curious blue jay looking at ice on a stump

“Curious Jay” original oil painting, 11 X 14

The blues were done with a mixture of cobalt blue, ultramarine and cerulean blue in varying proportions; the darks were raw umber, ultramarine blue and a hint of black. The whites were a mixture of white with grays from ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, with the highlights titanium white with a hint of yellow ochre and cad. yellow light.

In the winter, if water is iced over, jays will often peck and crack the ice, letting themselves drink; this also opens up water for smaller birds, so they do help the others out! I love their inquisitive looks, which I tried to capture here.

deck and flowers

It’s cold right now in Michigan. In fact, little tiny snowflakes (that my Michigan-born friends tell me is called “lake effect” and my Texas used-to self calls “too early”) are falling even as I write.

So, when a friend asked me to paint a picture of her deck and flowers for her, I was delighted. What better reminder of sunny summer days?

beautiful flowers on a deck, oil painting

Deck with flowers, oil, 18
X 24

I did a side photo of my painting, in hopes to reduce the glare. It only reduced it on the right side (that’s the actual wood deck color in the painting I did). I’ll keep working at taking photos; I should really wait until my paintings dry. The lake is one of the many around here in Lake County.

Birds of Michigan: Mourning Dove

I’m back to painting birds again, this is a mourning dove in golden light, sitting in the grass.

I wish I could my photo here to look like the original painting; it’s a lot more washed out looking than the original on my easel (probably because of glare, etc.). I enjoyed painting this one; I love the variety of colors these beautiful birds have in their feathers.

picture of a mourning dove in summer grass

“Mourning Dove” original oil 11 X 14