Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Painting a hilltop village in morning light

Monica and I found this view of Cana on a cloudy day in April.  We stopped for the view and to pick some wildflowers.  After wandering around a bit I was hooked by the composition of this open field with the gap that leads through the tree groups and on up to the village.  I thought this would work with morning backlight.

Cloudy day in April

It took until June to get back here on a hot sunny morning.  I really had the backlight - right in my face.  Below is an image of the painting well under way.  I try to build up layers of paint starting with thin washes without adding white.  I have to concentrate to leave spots of thin wash that will show through to add sparkle to the light.  Underpainting with orange/yellow/red works well for the areas receiving light, and purple or blue thinned down with solvent or Liquin works well for shade areas.  At least that's the usual plan, most of the time I am in some sort of frenzy when starting a painting - having spent too much time on the initial drawing.

Underway in the hot sun

Below is the finished painting.  I am happy that we stopped by the side of the road on that cloudy day in April.  It was a pleasant morning in June - the hay was quite high, almost time to harvest. I am pleased with the way the grass on the lower left bends in towards the gap in the field.  It takes time to find interesting compositions, and sometimes things work out with some luck.  Even moving back and forth for a meter or two can make a difference. 

Cana, Toscana  o/c  40x30cm

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