In The Studio: A New Oil Based On A Watercolor Study “Early Morning”

In today’s blog I am going to show two versions of the same theme, early morning light on several farm buildings in front of trees and a distant hill.  This is a favorite type of scene for me.  The watercolor will read well and have fairly nice colors but the oil will be more focused and the light will be more expressive.DSC_000114 x 20 watercolor on arches rough.  I preserved a lot of white paper in this painting a using the side of my brush I achieved some nice texture in the foreground and across the mountains in the background.  I was happy with this little demonstration but I felt it was a perfect painting to use for a more finished oil painting.DSC_000512 x 16 oil on archival panel.

My goal in this painting was to create a stronger feeling of shadow and light, so I pulled the big dark into the foreground and really darkened the trees behind the buildings just putting some highlights on the trees.  everything supporting the feeling of light coming in from the left.  I also cleaned up and simplified the center of the painting getting rid of the cows and the extra buildings, they didn’t help my concept.  I added the piece of water on the left to act as contrast and to repeat the sky color inside the major center of interest.  I think the foreground weeds really help the feeling of light.  Take one of your watercolors and use it for a study in one of your other mediums.  If you don’t have another medium start working in one it will really help you artistic growth.

I decided that the shadows were wrong and the light wasn’t quite interesting enough so I cooled off the shadows with a cool grey mid tone and brightened the lights and added the light on the far right barn.  I also added several round white blobs in the field to indicate either sheep or big balls of yarn.  They are a work in progress.DSC_0007

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  • Saundra Peterson WarrenFebruary 10, 2014 - 1:43 pm

    I enjoy working in oil paint but bought the oil recently that mixes with water and don’t understand the process of how it is done. ReplyCancel

    • SteveFebruary 17, 2014 - 2:55 pm

      Saundra I have found that everything can be found on YouTube so perhaps there will be a video on the water based oils. I have heard they operate the same so thick over thin is probably the key to the process and keep your paint not too thick to start.ReplyCancel

  • MercedesFebruary 16, 2014 - 5:30 pm

    Hello Steve. Always surprise me with your expertise. I liked your work and your idea of painting the same scene with different medias. A respectful greetingReplyCancel

    • SteveFebruary 17, 2014 - 2:23 am

      Thank you Mercedes for taking the time and interest to look through all of my lessons. It makes me feel like my efforts are worthwhile. SteveReplyCancel