After being quite disappointed in yesterday's work on the Pienza painting, I decided I needed a break from it. My folders of photos that could be paintings are stuffed with possibilities, but this morning I had one in particular in mind. It's a photo that would call for very loose work - lots of water and interesting colors.
Down the road from us is an old farm whose owner is elderly. When we moved here, he had more land under cultivation and would even sell his own honey at a little stand near the barn. Later on, he became a bus driver for our school district. After retiring from that, he started to slow down and even sold a big chunk of land. One could see the writing on the wall.
No one lives on the land anymore, but the farm buildings still stand and there is no sign of a new owner - yet. So, although I have taken a lot of photos over the years, I still take as many as possible before a housing development takes over this farm.
Here's one of those photos which I altered quite a bit.
As you can see the colors have been turned into their color complement (dull green grass = red-brown), and there isn't a lot of detail - plain buildings, indistinct trees, and cloudy, muted sky. This is a photo that calls for a lot of washes and a very loose hand. You'll see that I gave the buildings a bit more definition (and the perspective isn't quite right yet), but the trees are loose. The sky, ground, and even the road were simply done by "painting" the surface with a wet brush and then dipping the brush into paint then touching it to the surface and allowing the color to spread as it will within that damp area. That's what creates that loose feel.
So far I am pleased with the way this is going, but it is definitely a first draft!