Tim Ellmers, Artist
Day 2 - Sept Challenge
Working in Asheville, I can pop over to the Biltmore estate after work with no problem. Being a pass holder has its perks. Except, when you only have 1 hour to do what you want to do you move at light speed to make sure you accomplish your goal. In the time it takes to get to the farm, park, unload your painting gear will cut down that remaining time. Luckily, I have gotten really good about what I need to pack to Plein air. You don't need to bring your entire studio with you. Leave the junk at home and take only the essentials.
Painting movement quickly has always been something I have wanted to do. Here I had no choice but to paint what I saw. Chickens just don't stand there, they move constantly. So you paint their shapes first and leave the background for later. I painted their shapes with burnt umber and then painted the shadow with burnt umber. I took a paper towel and lightly wiped off the burnt umber to leave the impression of the chickens. I then focused on the bright colors first as they are more vivid and then to the shadow. This 6 x 6-inch size canvas allows me to paint quickly and within 25 minutes. Overall, I completed the chickens in 10 minutes. I was lucky in the fact that it was hot and no one was coming down to the barn to bother the chickens or disrupt the sleep of the farm goats.
With this painting, I normally prefer to prep the surface with oil/liquin, but who has time for that. By prepping it with oil it would help eliminate the full-on texture of the canvas that you see in the cropped photo of the painting. But it is about the practice and doing it rather than doing it exactly perfect. It also allows me to get a chemical bond vs. a physical bond that you do on an acrylic primed surface.
Going to do a still life tomorrow, that way I can have air conditioning. It really is a drug.
Cheers till tomorrow! #stradaeasal #timellmersfineart