Saturday, May 5, 2012


Summer Hay     8x10     oil on canvas panel
After a week of being under the weather with a cold, I wanted to get back to painting.  I wasn't ready to go back out, and it was cloudy, so I went through my photo files of things I shoot when I'm out.  I've had the photo for this for over a year, always thinking I'd like to try to make something of it.

The photo had all the basics I needed for a composition. I adjusted the color of the original photo in Photoshop to play up the warm foreground and get away from that 'all green' look that sneaks in when you just take dictation from what you see.  I also moved the hay bales around a bit to play up the focus and eyepath.

Here's the photo I took on a road near my studio, and then, how I manipulated the color.
I also blurred the second image to do away with a lot of the detail.  Once I had my basic photo reference, I made a few thumbnail sketches exploring the composition, just as I do when I'm painting outside. The only changes I thought necessary were to bring in an indication of the tree trunks on the right, and the silhouettes of the hay bales sitting under its shade.  I added a little roll to the ground plane, and a cast shadow over the left foreground to help bring you into the picture.Next, I set my timer to an hour and a half, and went at it just as I would if I were standing in front of the subject outside.  I do this to avoid getting side-tracked by unnecessary detail.  All in all, I think I ended up with a study that I may want to take to a larger version.

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