High Up

Across from my studio is an old barn. It’s  over two storeys high. It has lots of character and harbours swallows, bats, raccoons the occasional rabbit and who knows what else.  Starlings or blackbirds love to hang around the top window and peak.

Watching the birds march around the peak gave me this idea for the above painting.  I wanted to convey the feeling of almost vertigo or maybe distance and solitude that must exist up there.  I thought if I allowed for a blue expanse of sky that was almost unbalanced in its emptiness ( no clouds, no treetops, etc) then this feeling might come across.

In a previous post Paris on Canvas Final you got to see the painting in an earlier stage.  So I’ll share a few other photos with you including close ups of the journey.

It started with an almost architectural drawing to get the windows and angle of the roof accurate.  The underpainting was a red orange and light blue above for the sky. Then , as you, can see the sky was painted in and shingles.

The windows were outlined and underpainted with cobalt blue.  On the right you can see some of the shadowing done using paynes gray in a thinned with water wash.  I usually take a  a clean brush and use some clean water to draw first where the shadow will be. This helps the shadow mix blend in with the water and diffuse better.  In other words I paint the shadow with a light wash of water only first and then add the thinned blue/gray shadow mix after before the water dries.

Above is shot of applying a drybrush effect for a bit of texture.  The windows are not complete.  I used a small liner to trace over the blue outlines. The dark of the windows is Mars Black ( in the top section) and a mixture of burnt sienna and cobalt blue favouring the bottom sides.

Here is a close shot of the black bird at the peak before he was finished.


And two final shots taken outside with and without a flash.  Uh oh… I forgot to sign it…ooops!

Hope you enjoy it!


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