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Monday, May 4, 2015

Fraser Valley Meadow Revisited - How to...hold shapes together

Original Plein Air, Fraser Valley Meadow, 2006, oil on panel

Fraser Valley Ranch, 9x12, oil on panel
You have to close your eyes on this one! Can you tell I loved color in the original painting on top? (I still do, but I use it differently now.) There is a certain sense of energy to it. BUT, when I got the reference photo out I could not get the proportions of the canvas to make that scene fit as I painted it.  I admit that my recollection of where I was when I painted this "the story" was about the meadow. In this paint over, the story is about the ranch and the setting of the ranch. There is still plenty of meadow and I allowed some of the much loved color to come through.

As I have been going through my box of old  paintings I found that there is a pattern to my painting outdoors. I did not always keep the "big shapes" together. By that I mean, as an example,  in the original meadow, the colors and values are carving too many shapes within the whole so the whole is not sticking together. ie see the difference between the two meadows above. There is a lot of variety of colors within the green but it is holding together as a lawn of grass; in the original you are not sure what it is, although the colors sure are pretty...

As what happens with alot of painters, especially painting outdoors, the values were not strong enough. If you squint at the top painting there are three values, barely.If it weren't for the white house it would be only two, and those two values are very close in range with the exception of the yellow green in the meadow. In the remake you definitely see three values. I carved out the houses with trees. The misty mountains and the meadow are very close in value and they are medium with the sun lit roofs being my lightest value. Even though the trees are technically in the light, they need to be a darker value to group the trees together. The composition still has a nice circular feel to it which was something else I remember drawing me to this scene.

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