In any case, I realized that my painting titled "Sheep House" was one of my older paintings and did not reflect my latest work. Therefore, if people are coming to my site to see sheep houses, I decided that I better get my house in order!
Below are the before and after versions of my Sheep House painting. The thought process I used to perform this upgrade is outlined below.
First, the focal point of the painting appeared to be an empty doorway! In reviewing my reference photos I noticed a number of drawing inaccuracies. With respect to color, I noticed several aspects. The painting had a cool feel for the sunny afternoon that I was depicting. The green grass was too cool and uniform. the colors on the house did not represent a very warm early evening light and a sky reflection. The colors in the background appeared to be fall colors. Well, my Gallery owner says she can not sell fall colors???? Don't understand this, but i won't fight the market.
Once I made all of these observations, it became imperative that I perform a major upgrade of my sheep house painting to welcome all of those sheep seeking web browsers!
First, I put a lounging sheep resting in the door, looking out at his or her friend grazing nearby. This sets up a circular path for the viewer's eyes to follow around the scene. Attracted to the sheep in the doorway, we tend to follow it's gaze out to the grazing sheep. Our eyes slide down the brightly lit back of the sheep to watch the munching of the mouth. We are then lead back along the shadow toward the house and the lounging sheep.
As our eyes travel this circular route, we stop to view some of the other aspects of the motif; including, some of the interesting grass textures and patches of dirt strewn with occasional strands of hay. We then notice the mottling on the warmly lit front of the house. Our eyes drift up to notice the blue of the sky reflected on the roof. Traveling further around the motif we notice the background, which has been muted and cooled to recede. I also included some generic farm buildings to help establish a sense of place. In the mid ground I put in a field of corn with its colorful tassels, and redid the fence to better frame the scene, carry the color of the house across and provide a natural separation for the mid ground.
In addition to all of this, I redrew the shape of the grazing sheep, some corrections to the drawing of the house, and improved the color and texture of both the sheep and the house. I also used my mixtures of OPEN and regular gel to mix with some of the ground colors to apply with a pallet knife to lend texture to the foreground ground cover (a technique that I cover in the My Painting Methodology section of the website).
To accomplish this job, I had an idea of the colors that I wanted to employ. I was about to clean one of my pallets that I had been using for several months working on another painting. I suddenly noticed that it contained most of the color mixtures that i had been thinking of using in this new project. So instead of cleaning of the old paint i had been using for several months, I continued to use the same paint and pallet for my new project.
What a saving in paint and MONEY!!! This made my frugal heart feel good! Seriously, this is a wonderful benefit of the Golden OPEN Acrylic paints with their controllable drying times. This is not only economical, but having the same pools of color to use and modify through out the life of a painting (or several paintings) leads to a natural color harmony. I love these paints.
The following photo depicts my multi-month pallet at the conclusion of the Sheep House painting upgrade.
I used my Augmented Golden OPEN Modern Color Set as described in the Mixing Colors in the Modern Color Gamut section of the My Painting Methodology section of this website.
I realized the long usable paint life on my pallet using the techniques described in the Pallet Management section of the My Painting Methodology section of this website
I achieved the textured foreground surface using the techniques described in the Pallet Knife Painting section of My Painting Methodology section of this website. Specifically I mixed a medium consisting of half OPEN Gel medium and half regular Golden Gel medium. I then mixed some of this with the various colors that I wanted to apply with a thick texture in the grass and the bits of hay. The result has a drying time about the same as my normal application of the OPEN paints.
I used extensive glazing to provide the lighting and aerial perspective effects that I desired. I used the techniques described in the Glazing Techniques section of the My Painting Methodology section of this website, and in my 8/31/13 Blog Post "Glorious Glazing on the Met Life Tower" on this website. Glazing was employed extensively in the grass and dirt, on the front of the building to give various warm tones, on the roof of the building to give the sky reflection, and in the background trees and buildings to effect aerial perspective.
Of specific interest is the glaze used for the sky reflection on the roof and on the background buildings and trees. For this I used a mixture of a slightly neutralized Anthraquinone Blue and and the transparent Zinc While thinned with OPEN Gloss Medium. Less medium was used in the galzes on the roof and more medium was used on the glazing of the background trees and buildings to achieve a more subtle effect.
This was a fun project and afforded a interesting application of the flexible capabilities of the Golden OPEN paints.