Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chalk Hill Evening

"Chalk Hill Evening"
12" X 16"

If I walk to the end of my street....1 house away, this is the view in the evening on most nights. We live on Chalk Hill and look over the top of Solvang to the Santa Ynez mountain range that seperates us from the coast and Santa Barbara. These mountains can look green, blue and grey in every shade you can thing of at various times. I'm always struck by the contrasting dark rows of trees on the other side of this field. It's actually a vacant lot that the owner has not built on yet so as long as he keeps putting it off I get the view! One day there will be some gigantic Spanish style custom home here hogging up the view and I'll have to find another lot overlooking these mountains.
Normally I would have added grey to the tree area to push the distance but this is an evening scene which had some really nice darks in that part of the painting. I debated it but I just could not see pushing the distance here since this group of trees are right on the other side of the field. I think anyone who lives here would say this is pretty much what it looks like without doing all of the "arty" things to it. Sometimes I just don't feel like succumbing to the rules of art...and don't let enyone fool you, rules they are. The first time you stray from them you'll hear about it. They say in order to break the rules you must first know what rules you are breaking...then it's ok to break them.

Below you can see the edge work on the distant mountains. Softening that hard edge along the mountain tops always gives a sense of distance to your paintings.

Lately I've been really paying attention to the edges of my trees that recede from the viewer. I'm trying to soften those edges up and keep the skyholes soft edged too. My older paintings have these rather sharp edges in these parts of them. These are just the fine little details that you try and fine tune to get your work to look better. I think on the nest painting I'll try letting these edges set up a bit and then dry brush the edges to give them a soft blur....not my usual technique but my technique is always evolving depending on what I learn and what I like.


Teresa said...

Another breathtaking view Ron! I like the closeups - I always look forward to seeing what you'll paint next! Happy Holidays!!!!!

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Teresa,
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Thanks for checking this one out. Really fun to paint and quite the challenge again. So many things to learn or get better at.
Thanks again!