|10" x 8", ink & watercolor on 140 lb. Strathmore paper|
It was a beautiful October morning when I packed my painting supplies and took off on the walking trail that surrounds the farm. The path meandered through forests and fields, and I finally settled myself in a sunlit spot on a hillside where I had a perfect view of the big red barn and outbuildings, with the 19th century farmhouse peeking out from behind.
I did a quick five-minute pencil sketch to rough in where I wanted the image and the lettering, lightly penciling in the buildings and larger masses of trees. Then I went in with a Pigma Micron pen to finalize the details.
I painted the sky first, then moved to the foreground and applied the first wet-in-wet washes to the fields and grassy areas. The buildings came next and were painted wet-on-dry. The barn siding was indicated with both painted lines and lifted lines (where I used a damp brush to lightly brush over the dried watercolor, then blotted to lift the paint.)
Next, I painted the larger trees in the mid-ground. After they dried, I went in around the light-colored leaves and branches with darker greens, blues and purples to provide contrast.
Then I painted the background trees with slightly muted colors, wet-in-wet.
The last step for the farm sketch was to add some interest to the foreground with a combination of washes, painted lines, and spattering.
Back home, I painted the title with a combination of alizarin crimson and cadmium yellow medium, allowing the colors to merge and blend.
The hours I spent sitting in that field at Gilfillan Farm were the most relaxing of my long and frenzied week of plein air painting. Guess I'm just a country girl at heart!