Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Our Lady of Sorrows" 14" x 11" Oil

Our Lady of Sorrows is located 1.5 miles southeast of downtown Taos on Witt Road. We passed it daily as we returned to the San Geronimo Lodge, our headquarters. Of course, that meant we had to paint it and I did two paintings in its vicinity. This one was from the back of the church looking at a brilliant tree across the street. I counted a total of 7 crosses on the church and in its yard and couldn't resist one more (the one carried by the priest).

Evaluating the painting, which had been smeared as I put another piece into the wet painting storage box, I saw that the shadow on the side of the church was too neutral, giving the area a "dead" look. Also, there was no good center of interest. The tree wasn't enough to pull together the tower of the church and the large tree on the right. The crosses did not stand out enough and the main tree needed more definition. The tree on the right was not substantial enough and the cast shadow from that tree was too dense. Boy, this one was a mess!

Unfinished painting after plein air session

Going to work, I warmed the cast shadow on the side of the church, accounting for lots of reflected light and warmth. I defined the crosses by cooling the shadow side and painting the edges that caught the sunlight. To give the distant tree more substance, I enlarged it and added more brilliant foliage. Using the technique of marbled paint - not-fully-mixed pigments - I worked on the right-had tree and added some branches. Knowing that shadows have light reflected from the sky, I adjusted the overly-dense shadow at the bottom right.

The center of interest was still not strong enough to carry the work, so I added two figures turning the corner as they went to mass. The priest's standard gave me the chance to add another cross. Saved! Appropriate for a painting of a church, I think.

Finished painting

"Our Lady of Sorrows, Taos"   11" x 14"  Oil

1 comment:

artisoo said...

looks so warm!