Day 1 The Sky
The days I took photos, the sky was blue. However, my photography skills were not what they could be and 99% of the references had skies that were bleached out for the most part. I improvised and found one photo in the 500 that had some shapes. I added 100% color in a photoshop program, and went from there.
Another big change from the references is the height of the hills. Cameras shorten that height considerably. So when I drew the composition onto the canvas, I expanded the height of the hills.
Day 2 The furthest back hills – first session
This was the start of the 52 shades of green that I mixed for this painting. The hills at the horizon will have the most blue mixed into the green to make them recede. Cool colors recede while warm colors come forward. As we move forward in the painting, there will be less and less of the cool blues so the warmer green will move forward.
Day 2 with 3 Sessions
I now have at least 3 dozen greens to keep track of on my palette. I grouped greens on the palette by the amount of blue that was added. The fences are blocked in and let sit over night. To make different textures of the green areas, I used the side of the brushes and dragged the paint up and in different directions.
Day 3 with 3 Sessions
As I moved forward with the grasses, I used less and less blue. The unpainted section and the sections in foreground in front of all the fences with have the least amount of blue. I also determined the ground color here and blocked in the path that wraps around one of the many horse paddocks. The path goes around the whole farm. Every morning the owner and tractor traverse the whole farm on this path. The Irish Wolfhounds go with their human and get to practice their hunting skills.
Day 4 with 3 Sessions
I finished a lot of details on the fences such as highlights and shadows. As I’m looking at the path, I can see things that need to be changed a bit here and there.
I decided to emphasize the brown brush and darker wild flowers on the right side in front to create a darkened threshold that you have to walk over to get into the painting. That darkened area also forces the eye to the lighter path. Similarly the grasses on the left also accenuate the darkened area causing the eye to move onto the path and into the painting.