Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A go at a Landscape

I've been well out of my comfort zone, working on this landscape. Somebody wants a John Meyer, but he can't afford one, so muggins was asked to have a bash - it looks nothing like a J.M. - I think I'm physio- and psycho-logically incapable of painting so meticulously and painstakingly, but it has a little farmhouse, nestled amongst fields and mountains, which is characteristic of many of his landscapes. If the buyer doesn't want it, well, I've learnt a lot by doing it, and am even quite keen to do some more now, hoping I'll remember to:
-mix really dark darks so I don't have to do layer upon layer to get them
-use different size brushes for different sized features so they don't all look like the same 'blob'
-vary my greens and earth colours more for interest's sake
And I realise now that a big problem doing landscapes has been that I draw way too big! I eventually squared up my reference photo and traced it out to get the tiny farmhouse in proportion to the mountains. I also would rather use a looser style, with more white space, as Laura has been talking about and does so beautifully...
(Oh, this is 48 x 36 cm on Bockingford paper, which I quite like - must NB that too)

Spring is busting out all over here, I'm itching to paint some of it - but have to do a bit of home management first - astonishing how fast it spirals out of control!

12 comments:

laura said...

Go, go! The hills are wonderful, and the valley really does look lightstruck: your darks and cast shadows did their job--it's a great scene. I like your things to remember for next time; it's a good idea to articulate them--I'm going to have a go at that!

Annelein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annelein said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog...it's so inspiring to peek at other artists' work. What an interconnected blog world this is!

Vivienne said...

Well,now, what CAN'T you do? This is a beautiful painting, and has real atmosphere, interesting greens (yes the contrast IS the thing that negates the chopped lettuce look that Mum complained of.). It makes me ache for the glorious Cape. I don't know John Meyer's work,but he'd be proud.

Gillian said...

As I said on SKYPE, I think this is a wonderful effort. I love the dark green mountains and the light of the late sun and shadows in the valley.
Like me, I see VPP also thought it was the Cape! It made me think of going out somewhere here and trying a Texas landscape... But the heat, humidity and mosquitoes... a ref. photo is a much more appealing!

Cathy Gatland said...

It is the Cape!...my mistake... near Outshoorn and the Swartberg. I have made those mountains very swart, though I think the photo is slightly darker than the painting. (I have linked to Meyer's website if you want to look him up.) Thanks for enthusiasm everyone - Laura - I know I sometimes leave retrying a scene or technique for months, then forget everything I learned, so hopefully noting them down will help. Annelein - I am so inspired by your work! - thanks for popping in.

Cathy Gatland said...

OUDTShoorn!

indiaartist said...

It is so greta for the first attempt. Iwon't get this good even on my 100th. Love the color variation.Looking for more of it, best wishes

Vivienne said...

I meant to say it reminded me so much of taking the train to the Cape, and the thrill of crossing the mountains near Hex River .. from the endless flat dry Karoo to greenness, wine farms and mountains! When I was little, the train changed engines there, from steam, soot and smuts-in-the-eye - to diesel!!! GREAT excitement.

Gillian said...

Glad and relieved to know our first instincts and recognition of a little slice of home was correct! Thanks for the nostalgic reminder of those train trips VPP. We are so blessed to have lived in such a beautiful country.

Cathy Gatland said...

Oh yes! That train trip - coming into the mountains - was the most exciting thing! It always seemed to be at the crack of dawn, though. Bring back (clean, safe)train travel!!

leslie said...

That is a beautiful landscape.
If that is not your comfort zone, then you have me fooled!