Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Green Pasture 2

oil painting of cows in a field, pet paintings by karen
Here is the larger version - this is 20" x 16" - following on from the smaller study that I posted yesterday. There are one or two small compositional differences: I added the cow, top right-ish, which is turning and licking his leg as a device to try and turn the eye of the viewer back into the painting. I also added an additional log (or rock) in the foreground as it was rather a large amount of space to fill with grasses and shrubs. 
I still painted this using "big bang" - I started top left and moved right and down one brush stroke at a time until it was all complete. The only bit I revisited was the modelling on the animal in the foreground, which needed considerably more work at this scale than it did in yesterday's study.
This was one of the technically more difficult pieces I have painted and I feel like I have learned lot. Apart from composition, the other tricky bit was colour mixing, because such a vast expanse of green needs thinking about. For reasons that I don't fully understand, if you look at a vast expanse of green, rolling fields in real life it looks perfectly alright - charming - beautiful, even. But if you paint a vast expanse of rolling green it is liable to look horribly artificial and phoney. I have no idea why, but it is so.
The colours on my palette for grassy pasture were: cadmium green pale (W&N artists oils), transparent oxide red (to grey it down), Michael Harding's yellow ochre deep (other brands don't seem to hit the spot), titanium white and ultramarine. One thing I have learnt is that the result is always better if I keep yellow off the palette. Any proper yellow seems to make a green that on the canvas is very garish.

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