Friday, October 22, 2010
Completing "Prairie School"
My earlier post showed the rough-in steps for this painting. With that completed, I begin refining areas. Here I'm using a #2 synthetic sable flat to sharpen the edge of roof against sky.
Next I'm faced with the question of how to represent the siding on the building...whether to stay loose and try to suggest it, or be more precise in rendering. These are always challenging issues for me and I often second-guess my decisions. But finally, deciding the facade is such a large part of the design, I opt for more precision.
Laying the panel flat on a tabletop I freehand the siding lines with a script or liner type brush, using a homemade wooden bridge to keep my hand off the painting itself. Spacing is by eye, and I resist ruling the lines, since I'm still after more of a suggestion of precision, rather than an architectural rendering.
I return to the soft flat to suggest the peeling siding and sharpen up edges and contrasts.
Using bristle flats, textures and subtle color variants are scumbled and dragged across the mid and foreground areas to further define the dried fields. Strokes in the distance tend to move horizontally, while in the foreground short vertical strokes are used. I want to suggest the volume and direction of growth, rather than render individual grasses.
The finished (I think) painting. Click image to enlarge.
Oil on board, 11" x 22"