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Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Old Stone House in Stages

Once I actually got started painting the Old Stone House I have kept pretty busy adding bits and pieces to the canvas. For some of you taking a look at the progress of this painting it may seem like I’ve been hung up on some details along the way. I admit that I have been sidetracked of late. Although I’m only a few feet away from my studio, you can’t imagine how often I have had to postpone the trip over there! Something seems to always come up. First of all we had a weeklong vacation to Lake Lure, NC, which we both needed desperately! Then we had visitors stay with us for another week. It was fun but it kept us busy. Just before they left I had a short bout with the flu (not sure which kind it was) but I was happy to say it wasn’t a long illness. Barbara, on the other hand, had a pretty nasty time of it. She caught it a week after me and we are pretty sure she got the H1N1. However, by the time she was strong enough to leave the house to see a doctor, he pronounced her cured! However, she has continued to have a bad night or two since. If any of you have either suffered with the flu or had to care for someone with the flu you know that your lives are basically on “hold” until the stuff is over with.

All of these little segues don’t necessarily get you where you want to be, but eventually life gets back on track. This brings us up to date, so to speak.

After transferring the initial drawing to the canvas I began applying acrylic in complimentary colors as an undercoating. I chose to use an undercoating of colors similar to the various shades of the finished sky. I used a combination of yellow ochre and burnt sienna as an undercoating for the field in the foreground. I used broad brush strokes for most of the undercoating. This is not the prettiest stage but a good starting point when finishing up with Water soluble oils (WSO). I kept the undercoating light to start with so that I could preserve the pencil lines as guides for easier placement of objects, for example tree branches and limbs.

During my next visit to the studio I used a new technique to darken the tree limbs and branches. I found an excellent product by Fiber Castell called, Pitt Artist Brush Pen Sets. The set I used is called “Terra” for the earth colored pens it includes. The Pitt Artist Pens come in a variety of nips. The Terra set had all “brush” Nibs. The pens contain a fine quality of pigmented India ink that is both acid-free and archival (pH neutral) that are ideal for watercoloring over your lines. I was quickly able to refine my pencil drawings and better define the lines as I add heavier acrylics and WSO.

I also added more underpainting along the road that horizontally dissects the painting. I also added additional acrylic to the rear area of the house and added another heavier layer of yellow ochre to the field in the foreground.

Yesterday afternoon I began working on the sky. I used a combination of cerulean blue hue, Titanium white and a mixture of French Ultramarine, Indian red and cadmium red hue. I brushed in the sky with ever increasing layers of WSO. As you can see the Pitt Artist Pens are still visible through the light colors. I will do more refinement of the sky as it dries while I work on other areas later in the week.

You probably noticed the yellow rectangle behind the house. I learned from my sister that this area is actually a field and not a pond as I had initially thought. There are definitely disadvantages to working from a photograph, especially when I was not able to actually do a demo at the house. My sister has been a big help pointing out objects via e-mail. It is truly a cooperative effort.



1 comment:

  1. This is what I enjoy, about following your process. It is the detail that is fascinating and to watch the painting come alive. A master of patience too.