Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wheatfield with Cypresses - Part 1

I visited a friends' house earlier this week. In his house, I saw a painting I painted quite a few years ago. It didn't look half bad! I'm afraid I haven't painted in the past couple of years. I think I just forgot I could?

Anyways. I was inspired and super excited to paint this weekend, and I'd love to share my progress with you!

When I'm a little "rusty" with a skill, I stick with subject matter that is "safe". For me, my fallback is definitely Van Gogh. I absolutely love his strokes and his color. Most of all - I love his composition. There's just something about the way he sets up his paintings that almost makes me want to cry.

I decided to paint this painting:

This painting is called "Wheatfield with Cypresses" - as you can see by the title of this post.

To begin to reproduce a painting like this, the first thing I do is to break up the painting (and my canvas) into sections.

To break up the image of the painting, I just folded the paper with the printed painting on it into 16 sections. I then took my canvas, and divided it up into 16 sections as well:

Now I can sketch the design! It's a lot easier to resize (the print out I had of this painting is not quite 8.5" x 11", but the canvas is 18" x 24") an image and sketch it when you have it divided up into different sections.

Here's the finished sketch:

As you can see, the sketch looks quite a bit like the original painting - at least shape and spacing wise.

Now we're ready to paint!

I must say, I can't really explain how I paint - except that I almost never wash my brush and I just pile the paint on the canvas. I really let the paint do most of the work. It's so darn pretty!

Here's the first section of color I painted - a teal/cerulean sky:

OOoooo!!! Color!!!!

And up close:

EEee!! I love that texture! The only down side is that it takes forever to dry.

Next I added some of the clouds:

I love watching the canvas transform from a blank blah to a dizzying array of colors and shapes!

Here are the completed clouds:

Look at that color! The movement! Now mine is nothing like the master Van Gogh....his has unmatchable movement and color - but mine is still kinda pretty to look at :)

Close up!

The only reason I paint is to see the beautiful colors!!! This is just so exciting!!

Now the mountains need to be painted:

Ah-hah.....everything is starting to come together. The blue mountains ground the sky - and give you a starting point. See those clouds above the horizon of the mountains? Before the mountains were painted, they just kind of disappeared and blended in with the sky. But now they definitely have a strong identity.

Well - that's all I have completed so far.

I'll update with my progress! Hopefully I'll have time to finish this during the week sometime.


Patricia said...

I love the colors too. You make it seem so easy, but it really isn't. You are so talented!

Miss Emily D. said...

Thanks Mom! You know you've got quite a bit of talent yourself! I can't wait to see the next quilt you finish