Ok, I'm calling it done. Because it's due! For those who are new to my blog (welcome!), this little project started I don't know...a month ago? My friend David sent me a pic of this derelict truck sinking into the dirt, and I suggested we both do a painting from it, just for kicks. He set the format at 16 x 20, which is bigger than I would have liked, but I was pleasantly surprised when I started slinging paint around.
Initially, I drew the truck with a pencil and using a dark brown wash, worked out the value structure, paying particular attention to light and shadow.
Next I started with the yellow of the truck, still kinda washy and thin. Just feeling my way around the truck, trying not to be too tight.
I proceeded to paint the rest, first thinly (lots of turp) then gradually thicker. The beach in the background was not in the original photo, but when I first looked at the picture, for about half a second I mistakenly thought it was. Even after I realized it wasn't a beach, I was intrigued by the idea and painted it in.
But then I realized that there was no connection between the truck and the beach, conceptually. It was just an odd juxtaposition, which might be interesting but that was not a good enough reason, so I got rid of it, replacing it with a dusty road.
I added some sorry looking grass for color and texture - but made sure they were close in color and value to the dirt so I wouldn't have distracting patterns on the ground. This way I think it adds to the overall dusty blah feel.
The stakes were added last. I wanted a little more forceful suggestion of perspective - I'd meant to do that with grass patterns but I couldn't resolve the conflict between "pale and dusty and blends in with the dirt" and "punchy perspective suggestion", so I opted to introduce another element (the stakes) to do the latter. It also helped to differentiate the activity level of the right side ground from the front and the left. It was too equal in weight and activity before.
All in all, I like the mood of the painting. It's too tightly painted, though; I would like to have seen it painted with a freer brush. Also, I forgot to account for the frame's lip overlapping the painting's edges, and the eave of the building in the background would get lost. It's a shame because that's an important piece of compositional device. I will just have to use a floater rather than a traditional frame.
Anyway, that's it. It was a fun little project and it's interesting to see the differences in our approaches. Check out David's blog for his interpretation. Also, David assigned the same project to his classes at Sacramento City College, and the "winner" can be viewed on his blog. For his watercolor class, David invited artist Mike Bailey to come and do a demo using the same truck. David and Mike simultaneously painted the truck in watercolor, and you can see the results of that on his, and Mike's blog. What great fun!