What do I mean by that?  Well, I have been working on canvas that's 11 x 14 and up, going as large as 36 x 48.  When you get used to painting scenes that large it is very difficult to go back to a small canvas!

     Yes, I do paint 4 x 4 miniature paintings all the time, but they are very simple paintings of the ocean with a palm tree or two for the tourist trade.  What I am talking about here is doing a painting that has detail in it.

     Case in point is the painting that I am about to show you.  I am doing a few of 8 x 10 paintings to take to the art show in Kentucky simply because they will sell for less. It may allow some that might not be able to purchase a larger painting, to own a smaller one.

     I was seriously frustrated because this painting was going quite well until I decided to add a couple of horses and riders.  Because it is only an 8 x 10 and they are not right in front, I had to use a script liner brush to paint them in. They literally are only 1/4" tall!  That is just not right I tell you! I almost took them out entirely, but I finally got them halfway decent.  I want them in the painting because this one in particular is a gift painting for my hostess.  My husband and I are staying with an old friend that happens to be my sister's sister-in-law.  She is practically family.  Anyway, she is a horsewoman of many years and still owns and rides two horses even though she is in her 70's.  She also raised three boys after their parents died leaving them orphans.  She is to be commended!

     I want this painting to be special, so I will let it set for a few days and keep refining the horses until I get it right, take them out altogether, or throw the painting away out of frustration, LOL!
Believe me, I am tempted to stick to larger paintings from now on!  But for now, I have the directions for this one.

Everything started out fine.  I had decided this would be early spring with Dogwood, Redbud trees and Bluebells, all of which bloom in April in Kentucky.  It could be sunset or sunrise, take your  pick. Bluebells only bloom in shade so the foreground is where they will be.  This is an old road that has grown up and curves off to the left toward the sun.  I have most of the grass and background blocked in.

Now that I think about it, this does look more like morning than evening, so that's what it shall be.You can see the road clearly now and I have finished blocking in the grassy area.  You can also see the bluebells.  They look good at the moment, but if you paint with blue much you will know that it is a transparent color and as it dries, it disappears!  So I add white to make it opaque and keep pouring layers of blue on until it stays.  I have also added more trees in the background, or rather darkened the ones there and made them larger.  I use emerald green for the grass on the left, mixed pthalo blue and brown for the darkest area and lime green for the sunlit area.

When I put in these trees, it instantly read right and that made me very happy!  I started putting in the flowering trees in the background and at the moment they don't look right!  I paint the trunks of the trees using the blue/brown mix and use a script liner for the small branches.  This takes some practice to make them look natural, so I practiced a lot! So far I haven't had to add more flowers, yay!

Ok, I had to add more flowers by this time.  I also made the dogwood trees larger and added some bushes.  The leaves on the front trees are light green and not thick as they are just coming out.  I had to add some definition to the road, but I will fill it in a little to make it look more natural.  The leaves are painted with emerald green.  It is hard to get these clear colors by mixing.  I also keep adding some sunlight until I am happy with it. BTW, light blue straight from the tube held its color!  The next photo shows where my frustration begins.

Oh yeah,  these horses look terrible!  Like a child did them!  I have already refined them a couple times and I am tired so I will leave them for now.  Maybe tomorrow I can get them better.  If not, I'll paint them out and start over.  I now think that maybe they need to be larger!  I can see the foreground trees still need to have some definition in the leaves too.  One good thing is that I believe the bluebells will stay blue, at least for the time being.  You may think that the tree trunks are too dark but they are in the shade and backlit so they have light on the edge only.  Ok, I think I now have a plan of action,  Tomorrow!

 I looked at this painting and realized the foreground trees were too small and that was forcing me to make my horses too small.  So now I've added larger trees, took out the front horse, and I'm adding a larger horse in the rear. Just another step in the process right?  But wait!  Now as I write this and keep looking at the painting I have decided that the front horse will also go away and the new ones will  be larger still.  Ok, back to the easel!

     I worked on the painting some more.  I  took out both horses and painted two  larger ones that were closer to the foreground.  I sent a text to our hostess and asked the colors of her two horses.  One is black and one white she sent back.  I didn't tell her why I wanted to know as this is a surprise.  So, you guessed it, the horses are the correct colors!  The final painting is below.  I think these horses look much better! Since then I found out the black horse has four white legs and a white tail so I added those details to the painting.  They are Tennessee Walkers, by the way.  See you next week!

8 X 10
low resolution
Don't forget, next week is the PARIS ART WALK!  If you live in the area of Paris, Ky, please take the opportunity to come by for a visit, I'd love to meet you!  It will be at the Hopewell Museum, 800 Pleasant St, Paris, Ky.  5 - 8 pm.  Free admission and refreshments will be served!

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