Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Virginia Wine"

"Virginia Wine"
12" x 24" Oil on Canvas

After the ugliness of yesterday's "Beltway" painting, I thought I should do something bright and cheery. So here goes...

This scene is from King Family Vineyard in Crozet, VA, which is located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains just a few minutes from Charlottesville, VA. Some friends of ours had their wedding reception there, I want to say almost two years ago? My then girlfriend, now wife, Sarah, and I were lucky enough to attend.

The wedding took place at a church in Charlottesville and we drove to King Family Vineyard for the reception. The entire event was beautiful and it was a perfect summer day. The kind of day we're all aching for right now. After dinner, Sarah and I walked around the vineyard, taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. I took a lot of photos as the sun was setting that I used to help with this painting.

I used a limited palette here, which I think keeps the painting clean and simple. I toned the canvas with terra rosa, which is the reddish brown color that I used for the dirt beneath the vines. By the way, to tone a canvas just means to dilute a certain color, usually an earth tone such as burnt umber or terra rosa with turpentine, or some sort of paint thinner, and apply it thinly to the entire canvas. Toning helps to unify the painting with a similar color throughout and painting on a toned canvas makes it easier to balance your colors as opposed to painting on a bright white canvas. You can see patches of terra rosa showing throughout and it comes through in the sky as well. The mountains are ultramarine and white, the bright green of the grass and tops of the vines are cadmium yellow mixed with viridian. Veridian is a bluish green. The shadows in the vines are ultramarine and the yellow/viridian mixture.

I wish I had taken pictures as I was painting this one, but I didn't mainly because I've found it a pain in the ass to upload more than one picture per blog post. I started with four, one dimensional shapes: The grass, the vines, the mountains and sky were just shapes. I created an outline of the barn, but waited until the end to finish it. Once I had my shapes down, I added shadows and highlights and topped off the barn with a bright stroke of yellow and I was done! All finished, the painting took about four hours to create.

Glorious springtime is coming. I hope you can feel it.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE THIS! Of course, we have a special tie to King Family Vineyards too. :) I'm so glad you were able to turn your photos into this beautiful painting.