Finally!!!! I painted this totally outdoors. It is a scene to the west of the property where I have been painting, outdoors. I have followed Stephen, Frank, Keith, and Chris (all who paint beautiful watercolors outdoors) for quite some time, now. They initially inspired me to keep trying this outdoor approach. I can honestly say I completed this outdoors. It took me two visits, however. I am so slow.
I have been watching this meadow change over the summer. I was immediately drawn to the wildness of it. Six weeks ago it was covered in Queen Anne’s Lace and I wish, now, I had captured that. When I came out Labor Day, I had to try and paint the scene due to the fact that it dazzled with a pinkish-purple flower. I have since spent time on the internet and found that the flower is called Ironweed. Al would be so pleased. His postings have taught me to be more observant when I spend time outdoors. There were butterflies and hummingbirds feasting off these flowers and the whole field seemed to dazzle with light and activity. A deer even ran through while I was sitting there. Yes, my friend the hawk was circling once again. 🙂 The tree line was beginning to throw off warm casts of color and one large tree poked up all spindly having already dropped most of its topmost leaves.
I took time to snap pictures of the painting’s progress for you below:
The first step was to lightly pencil in the treeline and two buildings ( had to include the basketball backboard as it is VERY Indiana). I splattered some frisket for texture as well as to include white dots for the few remaining Queen Anne’s Lace. I then applied light washes of color to the meadow area to define the shadowed area and the part that sat in bright sunlight. I defined the buildings wet-in wet and dotted in the golden rod I saw on the far northern edge leading out from the house.
Continued on to the left with the treeline attempting to get the shapes and color down. I also decided to define the Ironweed in the foreground in the hopes that it would assist with depth. This was what I had done on the first day I worked this painting.
When I returned, I knew I had to define the foreground meadow a little more so I tried to read the strips of yellow and green that I saw running through it. I splattered more of the purple-pink colors of the Ironweed and deepened the shadows. I completed the treeline. At this point I sat and examined the painting at a distance. I decided I was not satisfied with how it read.
I sat back down and stared at the treeline. The speckly white took away from the deep dark of the treeline that turned the meadow lights on so I scumbled water through the colors that were all ready there. This helped to deepen the shadows on them that I had observed. The meadow had streaks of a pinkish cast throughout that followed the original patterns of the greens and yellows I had washed in earlier so I streaked those in very wet. I was careful to leave the bright light I saw leading from in front of the shed and partway down the back of the meadow. As a final touch, I added some of the butterflies I had seen while sitting there.