Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Falkner Vineyard Retouch


This was my 3rd painting in the Falkner show. In the image above you can see what it looked like near it's completion. I thought it looked pretty good but later seeing it hanging I felt the foreground was all wrong. I was going for a more loose plein air look to that part of the painting and it looked like it at the time. Yesterday I decided to go back in and do some touching up...finish the foreground to a more finished look and touch up a few other areas while I was at it.
Here is the finished version...and yes, the colors are more accurate in the final version...my camera loves blue and green and picks it up way too much.
Some details....

I like the painting and think the touch ups help the painting more. I don't like to really touch up painting that were painted plein air. I like the idea of going out and painting a scene and bringing it back to the studio to set it aside to dry, varnish and frame. I like the plein air pieces to really speak for themselves as a record of my plein air progress. No, I'm not a plein air purist who feels it has to be 100% painted plein air. I just like to see how far I have come to getting a better finished look when painting outside. We all have our own self imposed goals to follow and that's one of mine. With this one though that foreground was screaming for a finished look.
That reddish foreground was a steep hillside filled with these reddish/black looking tumbleweed shaped plants splattered across it. A lot of the painters at the show were not happy with that area too. Something like that has to be ignored, replaced or dealt with. I chose to deal with it to learn how to paint it. Other painters down there did too so it's good to see I'm not the only glutten for punishment, hahaha. It's how you learn....paint what you've not done or what looks really hard to you. Most painters look at a scene and visually paint it in stages in their heads before ever attempting to actually break out the real paint and brushes. That's what I do when choosing a scene. Sometimes you run across stuff like this hillside and decide "how am I going to do this". One of the best ways to deal with it is to pick your distance. If you back up and paint it from afar it gets easier. Mountains are always like that with me. I can paint them much easier from a distance than close up. The San Gabriel mountains above Pasadena are totally like that. Easier than sin to paint a half a mile away but get closer and man you are going to go through some pain painting those guys. I love those mountains but they can really knock a painter on his butt at times.

2 comments:

Mick Carney said...

Ron your retouch has created a much greater feeling of depth to the picture and the vines no longer look suspended in the air. You solved the problem and as your interesting remarks make clear, that is the challenge that makes painting either indoors or out so fascinating. Good job.

Ron Guthrie said...

Thanks Mick,
I think it works better now than when it was "completed" in the field. I like the vines better too now. Thanks Mick.