Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sorting through photos ... pecans & puppies

I Brake for Pecans © 2011 Karen Mathison Schmidt
7 x 5 inches • oil painting on Gessobord
gloss varnish for UV protection and easy cleaning

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See work-in-progress photos after the puppy pics below.

I was sorting through some pictures on my computer this morning, and I came across this one I took last fall. It was a beautiful cool day, and I had taken Trixie, our border collie mix, for a long walk down our road; on the way back we rounded a curve and saw this gentleman picking up pecans by the roadside. I loved the way he stood in silhouette in the shade of the trees, and the way the sun glinted off his red truck. It may have taken me a while to get around to it, but I just KNEW this would be a painting some day! My favorite part: the railroad crossing sign in the distance.

While I was going through photos this morning I also happened upon all the puppy pics I took three years ago when Matilda had her puppies:

Here are Mickey (who was adopted by our house painter), Blue and Sophie having a romp in the "puppy pool."

Matilda having a bit of a cuddle with Sophie.

And all three just chill-laxin’ after a play session. Sophie is on the far left, Blue is the one on the far right, dreaming of being a big dog one day.

Looks like his dream came true!

And now, work-in-progress photos for today’s painting:

I started with a red acrylic background for this one. I’m becoming quite fond of starting with a red background, especially for summer scenes. When I started adding the oil paints, I started with the most detailed part, the truck and the man, because that was the most intimidating part to me, and I wanted to dive right in and get that part out of the way.

Some spontaneity kicked in when I added the grasses and little white flowers in the foreground. Hey, why not?

I used blues and purples for the shady part underneath the far oak trees.

I defined the shapes of the trees by painting in the negative space of the sky. I had intended to make the trees mostly green, but when I got this far, I really liked the way the red underpainting looked in the crowns of the trees, so I went ahead and painted those parts mostly in reds.

In the final version, below, I painted out the power pole on the left ... I apologize to anyone who had become attached to it ... I felt it just wasn’t adding anything to the composition. I also lightened up the road a little and made the divider stripes and little deeper yellow.

And now, I have to go ... I have a movie date with my husband; I’m meeting him in the living room in ten minutes, where he promises to have fresh popcorn ready and waiting. I don’t know what we’re seeing, but he says he’s sure I’ll like it!

Good night, all!


Elizabeth McCrindle said...

Hope you enjoyed the movie...I certainly enjoyed the painting wonderful use of colour. I do have to say though the puppies stole the show...particularly the photo of them playing at being sausages LOL

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