|Starland - 16x20" - Oil on birch panel|
I normally paint using a reference image or plein air, but not always. Many of my Vision Quest series come to me as dreams, and trying to find reference images to complete them is next to impossible. Sometimes, as is the case with this image, I get an idea for something I want to paint, but I don't have any reference images.
Since winter lasts 6 months of the year up here, I figure I should paint some winter scenes. I've been wanting to go out to paint plein air for awhile but never manage to get there. I also wanted a painting with sheep, since we used to raise the critters and I still am partial to them. So I thought I'd just 'give it a go'.
Giving it a go never works out so good. Having an idea in your head, and being able to get that idea onto canvas are two different things.
Perhaps it is just plain stubbornness, perhaps it was the expense of the birch panel, but I couldn't admit defeat on this one. I did some further darkening to get more value contrast, refined the foreground and eliminated many of the lines running willy nilly throughout the foreground, and created a bit more depth to the horizon.
I'm glad I didn't abandon the painting altogether when I got frustrated and was ready to throw it in the burning bin. I ended up learning a few things while creating this painting which will can only help future paintings. I am on a mission to create the effect of mist or fog but will wait until I have a good reference image.