View Full Version : Blue Barn - Seedy Style- 1/2 sheet.. WIP

Strawberry Wine
10-16-2007, 09:56 PM
Hi Everyone!!!

A week or so ago, I posted a 1/4 sheet version of this scene in the gallery requesting some feedback on what to improve on for a 1/2 sheet painting...

Many thanks to Brian, Nick and many others for their input which I hope to encorporate into this painting.

Once again, please critique, as your input is very much appreciated. Any questions, please ask.

Somehow, I deleted the initial drawing from the camera so the first photo is the sky wash with the background trees in place. It has been a while since I worked a landscape on a 1/2 sheet
22" x 11".... and I had a hard time with the sky washes.... Maybe, I need a bigger flat brush,, I think mine is only a 1 inch, which works great for 1/4 sheets.

The birch trees, tree line and barn have been masked. I used cobalt blue, alizarin, raw and burnt sienna for the sky and a mix of yellows and greens for the wet into wet background trees... Once that was dry, I put in a bit of wet into dry detail.

Now that I have uploaded this image. I can see that the furthest birch on the left is not in the image. N.P. you will see it in the next upload.


Working here on the furthest left hand birch tree. I will wait to add more branches until all the birch treee trunks are in place.


Here is the middle tree, Several of my birch tree ref. photos have the trunks growing in this manner but i am not sure if it is working in the painting ... Input???

To paint the birches, I placed a wet into wet highlight on the sunny side using raw sienna and a touch of indian yellow and cobalt with a smidge of burnt sienna for the shadow side. The birch bark markings were done using the a stronger raw and burnt sienna mix and the darker areas a mix of U.B. burnt sienna and sepia, wet on dry


That's it for today !!! I will continue with the birches tomorrow and then start working on the barn. Once again, your feedback is important to me... Any nits huge or small are appreciated.



10-16-2007, 10:25 PM
What a great start, Gail! Can't wait to see this finished. No nits as of yet!!
~ Emme

10-17-2007, 05:53 AM
You really brought the birchhes to life Gail :thumbsup:


10-17-2007, 06:00 AM
Your sky is gorgeous and the background trees are nicely done. They add interest, but not enough to keep our eye away from the lovely birches.

Several of my birch tree ref. photos have the trunks growing in this manner but i am not sure if it is working in the painting

You are painting the birches beautifully with their distinctive markings, but the two growing together in a U shape look a little awkward to me as they are now. Will you be adding any tall grasses poking through the snow around their base or anything?

Looking forward to watching your progress. It must really look impressive in a half-sheet size.


10-17-2007, 07:26 AM
the sky is FANTASTIC..... the trees are FANTASTIC.... oh, this will be a winner for sure- you really should enter it in a show!!!

10-17-2007, 07:39 AM
This is working! Beautiful sky and birches.I'm watching. :thumbsup:


Strawberry Wine
10-17-2007, 08:53 AM
Good Morning Everyone!!!

Thanks to all for stopping in and commenting.

Linda, I am hoping that I will finish this for the annual Toronto show that I lucked into participating in. which is on November 3rd.

Sylvia, they are bothering me too.. They looked fine in the sketch.... I am thinking of scrubbing back to the tree line and see what I can do about the shape of the bottom of the second trunk

Carl, Emme, and Doug, thanks for your lovely comments..

I will start working on this again a fter my coffee and my visit from the nurse.

Cheers to All,


10-17-2007, 11:11 AM
Don't scrub it... really... yes, those trunks look a little awkward, but I feel that you can resolve the *shapes* by adding long, dried grasses and/or a scrubby little tree at the base of them...

At this stage, you could also elongate the trunks to bring them more into the foreground...


Is this the Homework drawing that I missed from the Meet????

10-17-2007, 11:21 AM
Actually I've seen MANY birches with akward, jutting crookedly trunks Gail. I agree with Char....no scrubbing. This is looking fine, just keep going....;)

Strawberry Wine
10-17-2007, 12:50 PM

Char; I have changed the drawing from Brian's original homework and demo from Ontario M. /06 and working on some of the concepts he demonstrated.

Thanks Darla, yes, you are right, birches do have some weird twists and turns yet some grow so straight and tall. Perhaps there are many sub species.

Well,,,,, I slept on it and this morning that trunk with the negative shapes bugged me even more.. So out it came, easy peasy, so three became five.. What do you think? Better or not??

I have removed some of the masking from the buildings and have added some very light washes...

Lunch time break,,, Be back later.




Close Up !


Laura D
10-17-2007, 04:15 PM
Wow, that change made a big difference! I love the UB's visibility in the bark. Makes it so cold I actually shivered! I'm a fan of the sky too, maybe you should use a small brush for the wash! The colors are marvelous. It's very dramatic.

My nit - the trees in the background (especially behind the barn) could be a tad softer. At the moment they are hopping out at me. That might change as you add more detail but something to keep an eye on as you go.

I'm enjoying this.

Lawrence Fox
10-17-2007, 10:44 PM

I think the five tree layout is much nicer than the first one--the doubled tree (or the two growing very close together and intertwined) just seemed awkward.

And that must be SOME huge evergreen over by the barn--it's taller than the silo? Or is the outbuilding with the tree behind it much closer to us than the big barn?

10-18-2007, 01:57 AM
You scrubbed...

It looks great... :) I love the five trees... and you've really made this your *own* composition now, for sure...

Answering Lawrence's question about the tree and the silo... there are still some very, very old silos still in use today... they were'nt built very large or very tall... concrete blocks, usually... and the trees definitely overgrew them...

10-18-2007, 03:52 AM
You did a terrific job of scrubbing out the tree Gail. Coming along fine :thumbsup:


10-18-2007, 06:22 AM
Well done Gail, I didn't have a problem with the two trees, thats how they grow and they did make an 'interesting shape', but what you have done since works so much better. The sky is great, hope you can get some of those colours reflected into the snow.

I can feel a snow scene coming on:lol:

10-18-2007, 07:14 AM
I'm enjoying this! Beautiful.


10-18-2007, 07:43 AM
Wow, Gail, great job on the revision. No way to tell the U-shaped tree had been there. The little clump of 5 birches looks very good. :thumbsup:


10-18-2007, 09:11 PM
Gail this is really coming along!!!!! I need to go back to that 06 lesson and redo also!

10-18-2007, 10:33 PM
Looking good Gail. Did you use the magic eraser to scrub out that tree??


10-21-2007, 11:21 AM
A much improved painting......and what a student....;-)

Strawberry Wine
10-21-2007, 10:29 PM
Hi All,

Thanks Laura, you are right, they do need softening.

Lawrence, do you remember the huge white pine at the front of my house.. :)

Char, :D I just had to do it. !!!!

Sorry I have not been able to update this but the weather has just been too nice to be indoors and the garden needs some autumn tending.

Doug, Amelia, Carl and Sylvia, thanks for your lovely comments.

Kev, :D a snow scene it will be... Rather here on paper then in the driveway.

JJ, I didn't have much success with the magic eraser... The trusty proxy brush did the job..

Brian, thanks !!!! and you are a good teacher... Perhaps if I could sit beside you in your studio I could absorb your techniques by osmosis. :)

I'll be back soon.



10-22-2007, 06:00 PM
Like those Trees, they even stand on there own as a painting, Gail :)

10-22-2007, 09:48 PM
JJ, I didn't have much success with the magic eraser... The trusty proxy brush did the job.. I love my Proxa Brush too.

I have used the magic erasure with a pair of tweezers, just pulled a piece off and tried it that way, but it is hard to get it into small spaces. I used it on my Invitation to Paint pic of the Boat house and then had to burnish the paper with the back of a spoon. It can be a little harsh..

Looking forward to the next update..:)


Ms. Gee
10-22-2007, 11:13 PM
Hi Gail!

This is coming along very nice. I am amazed how you were able to scrub out the base of that tree. I think that really improved the composition.

Would you please share with me the type of paper you are using and what brand of paint? I gotta get me one of those proxy brushes.

Will be hanging on the sidelines watching this come together. It's going to be great!


Watercolour lover
10-24-2007, 05:37 PM

:clap: :clap: Lovely finish. Brrrr - did you paint this because you know what's coming? You've got the atmosphere just right!



10-25-2007, 08:24 AM
Love the trees. Great job.