"Roadside Red" | 8" x 16" | Oil on panel
Available at www.KimVanDerHoek.com
3.5" x 1.5" Sketch for "Roadside Red"
This year before Sonoma Plein Air started I was able to scout some painting locations before the event began and I took the time to create some sketches. While this was a great exercise for nailing down my composition it got a bit tricky when the weather changed from full sun to cloudy he day the event started.
Here you can see my small value sketch for the painting above. Working in three values helped me keep the overall design clear, massing areas with similar values together.
It was challenging working on the painting under different lighting conditions. Also, while some value areas worked fine in my sketch, in the finished painting they required more fleshing out. For example, the distant green hill behind the barn should have been all one color and value but I felt splitting that area into two values with different hues would make the barn pop more against the background. That cool green hill which is the opposite of the warm red of the barn makes the sides of the barn stand out in the foreground, additionally, the light tan of the farthest distant hill is a nice counterpoint to the cool gray of the barn roof. If I had made the entire hill green then the barn roof wouldn't stand on it's own as well since both those paint mixtures contain blue. The same goes for the light tan hill, behind the barn it might have worked just fine but, since there are reds in both the barn and the hill paint mixtures I felt having a color opposite on the color wheel would work better.
Kim VanDerHoek at the Gala dinner with fellow painters - Richard Lindenberg and Debra Huse
Scouting painting locations in advance gave me a plan for where I wanted to go and gave me some idea of what time of day was best for painting in each spot. It also cut down on the amount of time I usually spend driving around looking for a view I want to paint and feeling rushed to get something onto the canvas.