Thursday, March 13, 2014

Peonies in the Sun

    Peonies provide such a wonderful subject matter for light and shadow and nuance of temperature.  They also make a pretty painting.  There is no substitute for painting in sunlight.

Weather Blowing In

     Sometimes the subject of a painting  happens when you don't expect it.  I was all set to tackle the Walnut Street Bridge for a  quiet but sunny  afternoon, when the wind picked up and very dramatic clouds appeared.  In a situation like this, it is best just to hold on to your easel and paint like your hair is on fire!

Early Spring Barn

     Working with a limited palette in the early spring before the trees bud out, one is reminded of the subtle but beautiful earth and winter colors available to us.  I like this composition for many reasons, it show the mountains of Tennessee, the hundred year old barn, and of course, beautiful afternoon shadows.  Note the brightest color juxtaposed next to the darkest value.


      There was a beautiful snowfall last month.  The snow was thick and heavy, sticking to the hemlocks and weighing them down.  It is rare that we get snow like this, so I thought I would take advantage of the challenge of painting white in the sunlight.   You have to really watch for temperature variation of the white and shadow because there is so much color bounce from all the light.  Look  how much yellow is on the underside of the snowcovered branches.   And notice how the shadows change temperature with every angle change.