South Carolina, USA,
My inspiration is my love of old barns and farms, but most of all it’s the time of day that I love to paint. Early morning and late afternoon are my favorite; some people call it the magic hour when you have this subtle peach or salmon color close to the horizon. Years ago I didn’t know what I was looking at, I thought it was haze from traffic. What I found out, it was the shadow of the earth close to the horizon, it’s called “The Belt of Venus,” and it creates some wonderful skies. I’m drawn to these old structures with their weathered wood, rusty tin roofs and peeling paint, and to me, they look like they belong to the landscape.
My Design Strategy
This painting I painted a dark foreground while showing the subtle tractor marks leading you into the painting. Of course I painted the front of the barn with high detail while emphasizing the early morning light. I had to punch up the break through light on the left side of the barn, which I thought helped in creating interest and depth, all the while keeping the barn low key in most areas because I wanted to use this to emphasize the back landscape.
I also wanted the viewer to go back into the field, whether by way of the side path or through the barn openings. For me, it was a good way of showing the contrast of the blush colors of early spring. The sky I kept simple with just a slight chill to the color.
My Working Process
I came across this scene in the late afternoon and I took notice of its orientation with the sun; I knew I wanted to paint it in the morning. I took dozens of photos for details and did some color sketches. I then camped in a cornfield down the road and waited for morning and got the shot that I wanted.
In my studio, I did composition sketches making alterations that helped the overall composition. Next I carefully sketched the scene while paying more attention than usual. I then blocked in all the areas with different thin oil color washes. At this stage it looked like a weak watercolor sketch and I let it dry.
Next I do block-in work: the barn, foreground, side trees and then the background. Then I paint the sky. Next stage I do build up work, then detail work over all.
Email: josephbyrn[email protected] Website: josephbyrneartist.com
Early Spring Morning, acrylic, 16 x 26" (41 x 66 cm)