|A Walk With Bepa, 7"x5", oil on gessobord panel, ©2013 Cindy Greene|
It's funny how the painting developed. I sketched the figures lightly in thinned paint, and had to do very little correction. It took quite a long time for such a small painting, but the figures went pretty quickly. It's the background that gave me trouble. The reference photo was taken in a park with some rather straggly small trees, and people in the background. The trees and people just didn't work with the composition, and the dry brownish grass in the photo wasn't very attractive.
So I borrowed Julie Ford Oliver's idea of using a piece of glass held over the painting to try out different ideas — I painted the changes on the glass first and snapped a photo. Then looking at the viewfinder, I could see if the design was improved or not. It took a few tries, but it is a brilliant tool. Thanks, Julie!
Here are some photos I snapped of the process — it might be interesting to you how it went.
|I toned the panel with diluted burnt sienna, and wiped it off.|
It will help counter all that green. I hope.
|Got the figures sketched in, the darks in the jeans and shirt, |
and my original idea for the background
|My dad is looking pretty good, and I'm working on Emily|
|Emily is coming along, and I've greened up the grass.|
Not happy with the background.
|Glass! Painted a brighter sky to see how that looks. Nah.|
|More glass — painted in a darker background of distant trees. Better.|
|Added some distant trees on the painting. Better,|
but I don't like the little tree. Too distracting.
|Glass again. Made the tree(s) less distinct. Much better.|
|Corrected the trees on the painting. I like this background much better;|
it gives context without distracting from the figures.
|Finished for the night, but there are a few places I want to adjust.|
Too much yellow halo around my dad's sleeves and Em's right leg isn't right.
|I'm happy with the final result. Also corrected Emily's hair, and|
added some shadow under the tree on the left.