Saturday, February 24, 2007

February 24 - Plein Air Artists Visit, and the Lesson Continues (Horses in Snow)

It was a very busy day, with the Plein Air Artists of Riverside coming over to paint for a full day, including a pot luck at the end of it. I did manage to get a good start on the two horses painting though, and share it with you tonight (or tomorrow morning, if that's when you get these!)
Although the voting was almost equal for the sketches, I chose the upper right one because of the possibility of making large areas of textural interest in the dormant trees and shrubs. Toning the canvas first to "get rid of the high value white", I sketched in the location of the shrubs, the two horses and that all-important counter balance in the gate on the right.
I changed the location of the darker horse, moving him away from the red one because the negative shape formed by the area between them was odd looking and very distracting. Sometimes designing paintings is more about those negative space areas than the actual subject! Note that the negative space areas (where most of the snow will be going) are all different shapes and sizes. That's good design--making related areas without repetition by an infusion of variety.
Note, too, that I painted some of the three dimensional form of the horses...just can't leave 'em flat. Now that I have the initial lay in with the values established for my dark areas, tomorrow I cover the canvas with lots of paint, getting those big shapes in place.

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