View Full Version : Another Old Barn

Jim Updegraff
01-30-2005, 08:59 PM
Old barns are a perpetual war horse around here. The attachment is a try at doing something a little different. Oil on canvas, 30" x 24". Simple one point perspective but the framing is a little more complicated than I had expected. It is a lousy grey January thaw day here and the artificial light is raising Ned with the photos. The top image is too blue. It shows where it stood at noon. The bottom photo is too yellow and it shows where it was when I gave up tonight. Iíll let it dry for a couple days and then get back to it.



01-30-2005, 09:29 PM
Ooh, this looks like fun!

Before you get any farther, thereís a problem with the perspective on the boards in the bottom right-hand corner. The top-most board should be almost perfectly horizontal. In contrast with the rest of the (nicely done) perspective, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Iím such a sucker for a well-lit interior! I canít wait to see where you take this. Cheers!

01-31-2005, 11:23 AM
Jim - all this work is going to pay off nicely. I see what Quiet means - also check the 'hatch' door up near the top. (What's the right name for that door?) It doesn't look right.

Jim Updegraff
01-31-2005, 11:34 PM
Quiet, you are right about the run of the top plank on the tie stalls on the right side. What you cannot see is a scribed line that follows the correct line of the top of the stalls. We are still at the rough-in stage here. But, thanks.

Spyderbabe, this isnít one of those big old Dutch barns from Pennsylvania and Ohio with the animals in a walk-out basement and the upper stories reserved for hay and granaries. Iíve worked in those barns where the hay is mowed directly from a wagon backed into the broad side of the barn. This is a prairie barn with horse stalls on one side and milking sanctions on the other side of a single ground floor with a mow above. Access to the mow is by a drop down door in the gable end of the building, The door flops down like the seat in drop seat long underwear. The whole thing, the door, the grapples that carry lose hay in and drop it, the mechanism that traverses the grapples from one end of the top of the roof to the other, is run by a series of blocks and tackles just like the running rigging of an old time sailing ship.

What you are seeing, I hope, is a mow door that is partly ajar to let the over heated air of high summer escape. The top of the door is leaning out and away from the observer and is thus some what foreshortened. I hope to make that clear by representing the play of sunlight on the outer end. One thing that may be throwing you off is that there is a protective extension of the roof at the peek of the gable to keep rain and snow from coming in the mow door.

Incidently, the machinery door was an after thought on these old barns, necessitated when farmers went from lose hay to bailed hay. The answer was to just cut a hole in the gabled end between the weight bearing up right timbers. In the old days the whole middle section, from floor to roof tree, would be filled with lose hay.

02-01-2005, 02:21 AM
Hi Jim, This is very interesting. Anxious to see it develop. Thanks for sharing.

Jim Updegraff
02-01-2005, 07:53 AM
That is ďmilking stanchions,Ē not ďmilking sanctions.Ē I canít imagine what the sanction for milking might be. Given Woodguyís recent thing with cows, he might know.

02-01-2005, 10:24 AM
Jim, I've never even been inside a barn so this is a good education. I didn't realize there were so many variations of barns but I see form follows function. The terminology is also new to me but I do recognize a phrase here and there - like 'the broad side of a barn'.
I went ahead and marked the spot that seems out of whack to me. The angle of the opening doens't look right but maybe when when all the lights and shadows are in it will be fine.

PS 'Milking sanctions' sounds like some kind of UN Program for farmers in emerging third world areas.

Jim Updegraff
02-01-2005, 10:19 PM
Ah-ha, I see what you are talking about. The negative space is not defined at the top by the angle of the roof beams. It is defined by the outside edge of the triangular projection of the roof that protects the mow door opening. Itís too grey a day to go out and do a photo to show you what I am talking about. It is like the visor on a baseball cap (or around here, a seed corn cap) sticking out beyond the line of the roof beams. Trust me?

02-02-2005, 09:55 AM

Jim Updegraff
02-06-2005, 12:18 AM
Here is where we are on this thing as of tonight. Iíve pretty well decided that the focal point is some higher than it ought to be. Itís too late in the game to fix that now. Iíll finish this one and start another with a somewhat lower perspective point. I certainly understand why the old guys enjoyed doing church interiors. Even this simple architecture keeps you on your toes.

I may have discovered the first rule of painting barn interiors Ė when you canít think of any thing interesting to do, throw in a hay bale.



02-06-2005, 08:41 AM
We know what you did yesterday. Work.
The rafters and barn siding - and bales! are terrific.
How about some white chickes in the shade right outside the barn door? The white against dark would be effective in bringing our eye down and out a bit and bring a bit of living thing in.

Jim Updegraff
02-09-2005, 08:54 PM
Here is the barn interior picture with a couple details. I think itís finished or nearly so, although Iím debating sticking a dog in the machinery door, too. Chickens would just be too small. Beside that chickens are no more than walking vegetables with no particular emotive value. Certainly none compared to a big old hairy collie crossbred.




02-09-2005, 09:18 PM
Opening the door and removing the fence gives us more depth to wander about. NIce. Esp the dappled sunlight on the roof of the little red building.

Chickens - walking vegetables!? Don't tell Wayne! But a dog would be good! A dog would be great. Sleeping in the sun? Maybe romping about having chased all the chickens away.

I now appreciate what is happening with the little peak roof that was giving me such agita. It all makes sense now.
Our guy in the Caterpillar hat is very non-chalant. Taking a break from moving all those bales.
All in all this is just terrific, beautiful lights, finely done!

02-10-2005, 10:26 PM
Now I have to go back and look through the archives to see what other things "old timers" do!
Loved watching the development of your painting - how the light changes and how the figure moves from early work mode to later just takin in the view! Feel like I just enjoyed a good story... By now you probably have your collie mix warming his bones - but might also be fun to add a barncat or two... I can imagine one up on one of the bales on the trailer...
I am enjoying this part of the site - gives a wonderful opportunity to visit other people's process.

02-11-2005, 05:30 PM
It's been really interesting to watch the development of this painting but one thing is bugging me. As someone who handles baled hay every day, they just dont look believable to me somehow. To sharp at the corners, there should be indented indications of the baler twines , rounded corners, and some broken bales where they have fallen off the wagon. Overall great feeling, like in my own barn.

Jim Updegraff
02-11-2005, 08:44 PM
There is no question about it, minihorse. I need to round off some corners and break some bales. Damn, I hate broken throw bales. Thatís why Iíve gone to the quarter ton squares. It is so easy to lift off a couple or three flakes, but they arenít very picturesque.

Jim Updegraff
02-12-2005, 10:09 PM
All my instincts tell me itís time to walk away from this. Iíll start a fresh one with a lower vantage point.