Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Board's Creek

There are some paintings that have a certain sentimental quality for me.  One such important painting is Board's Creek--an oil painting of two cows getting ready to cross a creek in front of a gnarly old tree.  There is an interesting background story behind this painting (of which I will spare you the details), in that it was originally supposed to be a commissioned piece, but I ended up doing another one in its place that better fit the desires of the client at the time. And so now this painting rests above my sofa until it finds a better home.  There is an actual Board's Creek, but this is not it--the scene is made up to fit the composition, though the tree is a real tree up on the parkway near Rocky Knob (one of my favorite to draw and paint, as you will see later), and the cows are painted from photos taken awhile back (and slightly reworked to fit the feel of the painting).

The first composition had the cows turning away from the tree (I still may do a painting from this one day).
I ended up reworking the composition to the following...
...and worked up a quick acrylic wash color study...
I wanted a warm evening/morning glow to this painting, with the foreground in shadow, to allow the light to play on the water and the branches of the tree.  Here are some pencil studies of the tree itself--a wonderful, gnarled, twisting tree with large branches that you can just crawl all over.  Many artists and photographers have created images from this tree.  I just love it. 
And so here is the final oil of Board's Creek.  It measures 40"x30" and is on stretched canvas.
This remains as one of the few large oil paintings that I have done in the last ten years--I usually work in acrylic, but Alison and I are wanting to get a new set of oils to start working in them again--it is definitely her favorite and strongest medium. ~Sean

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