Sunday late morning I sat on the bench just off the Bald Hill trail and lost myself in the sweet scent of blackberry blossoms and the song of bluebirds swooping and diving over the pasture. It was truly “pastorale”. I learned a lot, too, as I sketched and painted and chatted with passersby:
- Sheep cannot be counted upon to stay still. Although they are not darting about like bluebirds, they are in constant steady motion. So the moral is, draw the critters first.
- Always take a paint rag because you never know when you’re going to stick your thumb into the gooey blue paint. Also, find a better tin for water colors.
- Order that nifty “water brush” that holds water in its handle that you can supposedly sqeeze out while you paint.
After my resident art critic pointed out that the wire fencing didn’t look “like it should”, I re-visited the piece and added more colored pencil. I like the result but it still has plenty of room for improvement… for one thing, true to the actual motion of the animals, the whole piece looks like it’s in danger of wandering off the right side of the frame, like a Harry Potter photograph. I think if I had made the grasses in the foreground blow to the north instead of the south, it would have been a more stable composition. The mid-day lighting was tricky, too, putting shadows directly beneath the objects – never realized how that warps perception.