The Making of “Hill Country Spring”

I took pics along the way as I created this painting. Are you interested in seeing it come together?

First, I took a snapshot of a scene I liked. Not a great scene by itself, but it had all the elements I wanted:Then I sketched out a few versions of the scene in a sketchbook.

I chose one and recreated it on a canvas. (This is the first time I’ve used a black canvas.)Then I selected my palette. I have canvas paper sheets of three color palettes I made for reference. This is a new one. I found these colors on sale recently. Using them to make a color palette is how I familiarize myself with them. I chose them because they are bright and I thought that would show up well on the black.All set up to paint:Working from background to foreground, I put in the bit of sky first. It wasn’t in the photo, but I thought my painting would be too dark without it. Then the cedar trees.. Just a dark green wash over the black, some midtone bushy bits and a few highlights.Then the middle ground: bush and cactus on the left, little cacti, grass and scrub, then blocking in that tallish cactus on the left.Then I added some wildflowers, some more grass and the leaves for the bluebonnets.I put the bluebonnets in, but the middle looked flat. I lost depth. So I decided to put some really close up.Ugh… I hated them. But I liked the close up. I worked these a LOT. (I also added some red in the cedar trees to break up all that green and add interest.)But I finally got those foreground bluebonnets close to what I needed.Added some more grass and a cardinal (hubby insisted something had to go in there. I like it!) And signed and sealed.

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