Lenhart Farm. 9x12, oil on linen panel. 2015
Today's paint-out was at Lenhart Farm in Hillboro, VA. It's right up against the Blue Ridge mountains and situated so that most of the views across the fields have the morning sun in your eye. Add in swarms of flies, 91°F heat and lack of sleep and it makes for a difficult painting day. Nevertheless, I stuck it out and tried hard to make this painting work.
This plein air work is unusual for me in that it features animals painted from life.
These horses appeared to be very interested in one patch of grass and stood there for at least 5 minutes, giving me enough time to get the essentials down on the canvas. I had already painted most of the landscape before they appeared and the horses were a perfect addition, providing both a center of interest and a way to increase the feeling of depth in the painting.
Because they are small figures I painted them with just three colors/values – a dark, a mid tone and a light. All the color of the horses is conveyed in the mid tone.
I spent more time than usual to tidy up the paint while I was on location so that when I got back to the studio I only had to pick out a couple of fruit flies for it to be finished.