"Reflected Light" oil on canvas 20x40"
The weather over the weekend was marvelous. I did a lot of weed pulling in the garden, and planted some sugar snap peas, purple potatoes, and a mix of lettuces from several old seed packets. I did some paintings of orchards in bloom as well, but they have to dry a bit before I can photograph them to share. In the meantime, I spent much of last week working in the studio on this large painting of the hay barn at Pierce Point Ranch. Regular readers will recognize the building - this is similar to a smaller painting I did on location. I really like the dynamic of the two buildings and the way the light is reflected from the small building onto the barn.
I spent a long time trying to get the blue of the shadows right. I work with a fairly limited palette, with no blacks or greens, just a warm and a cool version of the primary colors, and white. (For the artists: lemon yellow, cad yellow, permanent alizarin, cad red, ultramarine blue and cobalt blue) But I keep playing around with different blues, and I've been using indigo blue from Sennelier (similar to prussian blue but mixes lovely greens and blacks) and sometimes I toss in some phthalo blue for the sky. I use the same colors when I paint outside, and set out the colors in the same order on my palette. That way, I don't have to think very hard when I'm mixing, my hand just goes to the right location. At the end of the painting session, I take all the leftover piles of mixed paint and mash them together. The result is a pile of really nice gray that I set aside for the next round.