Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Perils of Architecture, Pt II

Filling in the Blank

This morning, when I got back into the studio, I set about reinforcing yesterday's grisaille. I used a combination of brownish madder, burnt umber, and ultramarine. Note that these three colors are essentially transparent when they are thinly applied. My intention is to build up the forms with only transparent color as long as possible, adhering to the old dictum that one should keep the darks transparent and load the lights. Here's where it stood at the end of the afternoon, wearing its eventual frame.

Even though I've nowhere near completed the interior of the barn, my thoughts are pondering that big white square in the middle. What sort of view do I want to have? Summer, winter, etc.? Sunny, foggy, moonlight? There are a lot of possible choices.

To get a sense of what sort of thing I might choose, I inserted an old 10x12 oil sketch into the opening. Et voila!

That's certainly a late-summer choice.

Another less-complicated idea might be this 24 x 30" Jurney painting, dependent on its light effect.

Of course I couldn't resist cooling down the grisaille, below, to go with a detail from a 36" x 54" painting, titled AWOL. Yup, that's a Charolais.

Ultimately, though, I settled on a farmhouse that everyone knows. 

Sometimes it's hard when you're given, or give yourself, too much latitude. How will I ever decide what to put outside the barn? 

Your ideas, and your votes, would be great to hear---especially in the comments section, below. If Google+ intimidates you, please get over it and sign up.


  1. Interesting and fun. I find that brownish madder hard to use - interesting to hear how you use it. Could you talk about blues a bit? I'm thinking about blues just now (February blues? ;D). That big floor space - what's going to go there? if anything!? My fist concern would be to indicate that the loft is high above the outside ground level - I presume it is?

  2. Great start! Two paintings in one! I go for the first one. A sense of enclosure in the loft and endless sky outside, with a nice balance of symetry in the barn and assymetry outside.
    I agree with Jon about the Brownish Madder. I put it on the palette regularly but use it sparingly. How do you thin it out?

  3. I like the first one as well. The harmony and contrast work well. I can feel the coolness of the interior and smell the scattered hay while looking out on the warm Summer countryside. That works for me. Thanks for sharing this Donald.

  4. The first and second suggest a bit of height which is good since this is a loft. The last pic hilarious, anyone who can make me smile is so tops in my book.
    Whatever you decide, I am certain it will be charming.