You have seen the stages through which "Behind the Barn", a watercolor painting based on a shed-like structure behind a barn at Perennial Pleasures in Hardwick, Vermont, passed on its way to becoming a finished painting. You've also possibly understood that for me as an artist, a painting is never really complete - that I continue to see things I should have done as well as things I might have done.
Now I begin again. Oddly enough, "Behind the Barn" is a painting that was begun a year ago and then put aside, and the new work on which I have embarked isn't really new at all. I painted this view a year or more ago, and the result was phenomenally horrible! I flashed it in front of Sharon's eyes and then promptly hid it in my bag where it stayed until I could tear it up (I don't do that very often). This time I plan to try it again and at least begin it right.
I started with a pencil value sketch:
This first one is clearly more detailed than the second - primarily because it was the first and got more time. I should take a photo of the pencils I used one of which is rapidly becoming my favorite. It's a flat piece of graphite that is maybe 3/8" - 1/2" inch broad and doesn't have a point. Most of the above drawing was done with that pencil. The weeds in the foreground and the lighter portions of the background were done with soft-lead pencils: 2B, 4B, 8B.
Then this is the second one. The change in paper size was deliberate as this is the long and narrow painting I originally planned for this subject. Now I like both sizes and will probably start by working on both. The first one strikes me as a simple landscape of a house and barn in a lovely setting. The second view to me is quite different. In this one, I feel the immensity of the landscape and the loneliness of the farm.
It's like reading two different versions of the Cinderella story.