36” x 36” gallery wrapped canvas
My photo references
This week's painting is an homage to the “good 'ole summer tyme”, here in the waining days of summer. Frank has taken so many lovely photos of our local creek, I really wanted to incorporate one in a painting. I picked one beautiful photo showing a bend in the creek with overhanging trees and a shaft of sunlight streaming in the breaks in the leafy canopy. I paired that with heavily changed bits and pieces of photos of folks from different events we've attended in the past. I wanted to give the feel of families going for a late summer day picnic at a local watering hole....of the scenic and swimming type.
I composed my painting to fit the somewhat unusual square shape canvas I had on hand. I began the painting with a flat colour lay in of basic shapes.
The painting went pretty quickly as I had already done my prep work. Here you can see I have taped on the canvas for quick reference, a bitty color thumbnail sketch showing the figures' changes in light and shadows, my original pencil sketch of the figures and small pencil sketch on tracing paper taped onto the photograph of the creek to find just the right placement.
I had intentionally made the composition fit into the square space by using the pointing finger of the left hand mom as a starting point for a swirl of sunlit points that led up to the far bend in the creek and swept up into the leafy sky.
I enjoyed picking out the details of the two busy mom's “mom buns” and cell phones in back pockets, along with the second mom's backpac with extra diapers and sippy cups. I luved that the two moms just took time to pull on plain white t shirts and jeans and pulled their hair back in scrunches and buns. But you can tell one mom took the time to dress her toddler in a fancy new jean jumper and a bow for curly hair. And the other mom gave in and let her little girl wear the frothy dance skirt she's been living in, while doing her hair up in a ballerina bun to match her mom's. Painting in these kind of details plus capturing gestures of closeness was extra fun to paint in contrast to the magnificent nature view.