I have decided to try plein aire painting. Below is a study of a small bridge that I completed onsite in 3 hours. I realize that working onsite means working faster than in the studio, and I wanted the spontaneity and sense of light that comes from this approach.
I love light houses, so decided to paint the one at Lake Michigan near Ludington to show the cool weather and the boats that come by in the evening. This was done in oils, 16 X 20.
I love the way that ice and snow cover the beaches in winter, so here’s a picture I painted of the beach at Ludington. The fun part was getting the grains of sand in! I also love painting the lighthouse there, and capturing the patches of ice in the front.
I decided to put one of my older paintings (from two years ago) up. I had fun painting the water lilies in the bayou that runs beneath a small bridge in East Texas.
I love painting water and reflections, and the subtle greens and browns.
Here are the next steps in painting the above old barn painting (I decided to show the finished product first!)
Step 5: Adding More Details
As you can see, in this step I added some of the background trees, and some more detail to the barn itself. I like to get my center of focus well in hand before doing the foreground. I added more mixes of burnt umber and ultramarine blue for darks in the barn, and added highlights of ultramarine blue, cerulean blue and titanium white to the roof. The background trees got scrubbed in with a bit of burnt sienna, burnt umber and cerulean mixes.
Step 6: starting the Foreground
Okay, I felt like the painting needed “something more” so I added a rusty old disc tool to the foreground, and have started putting in some of my grasses, using mixes of burnt sienna and yellow ochre, along with ultramarine blue for darks.
Step 7: Adding More Foreground and Barn Detail
At this point, I keep going in with mixes of burnt umber, yellow ochre, and my blues for the grasses; and with the previously described colors for the barn, to add in more details. I pulled some cerulean hints into the grasses for color harmony.
For Step 8: I add my darkest darks (burnt umber and black mix) to the barn and old disc-er, add more grass details and highlights, with the finished product at the beginning of this post.
I hope you enjoyed this lesson in how to paint an old barn!
I am working on a “Barns of Michigan” series where I highlight some of the beautiful old barns that are everywhere up here. I admit it: the older it is, the more I like it. Below is one that I painted recently, I call it simply “Old Red Barn.” Unfortunately, my cheap little camera doesn’t take good photos, it changed some of the hues, so this week…I’m buying a better camera!
I did enjoy painting the textures on this one, it was fun, and the sky reflections on the roof. I also love golden colors, and so did the tree in autumnal golds.
Okay, I’m ready for spring, even if there still is snow on the ground in patches outside. So, I decided to paint a picture based on a photo of two friends that I took last summer, just to remind me that yes, warm weather will come back some day.
I like pictures that tell a story, and this one does; I also like to play with painting light as it hits different surfaces.