Frankfort artist Betty Beshoar arranged this May Paint Out at the Latimore farm on the Elkhorn Creek just across the bank from the old Peaks Mill Elementary School.
As I continue to learn and progress, I dramatically simplified this painting to keep the attention on my focal point, the sycamore tree and its reflection.
I tried to reduce all of the background distraction or clutter. If I do a larger version or second attempt, I would darken the values in the woods behind the sycamore, calling even more attention to the whites of the tree, and I would simplify the water and temper the intensity of the green in the water.
I also would work on the foreground shape and mass of the muddy bank and the grassy knoll.
This is my effort from yesterday's Paint Out in Versailles at the farm of Flora Garner-Platt.
I am very pleased with these two hours of work because of the detail in the tractor, done without sketching and straight into the oil.
In the interest of a rapid effort, I worked on the details of the tractor first and put the background landscape and barn in later, not the easiest or most correct way to do a painting. But I did not want to end the day with an incomplete focal point (tractor).
Instead of spending another hour or two correcting this sketch, I would like to do a larger version. If I do, it will be the first time I create something at home from a live, outdoor sketch instead of a photo.
It's always good to look at a painting later, when you've rested, to notice the tweaks that are needed. Note how the tractor and the right wooden posts lean to the left. The other work that is needed is to darken the interior of the barn. The values of the post are nearly as dark as the black tires of the tractor. This would enhance the vignette effect and make the light in the background landscape pop even more, I believe.
I also want to play more with the interesting way that light streaks across the dirt floor of the barn.
But I think it is clear that I am progressing. I am especially getting faster and learning how not to get bogged down by too much detail.