West of Hwy. 101, Monterey County

We stopped by the roadside to get some gas on our way home from Monterey a few weeks ago.  Rather than taking the main highway, the 101, we ran parallel to it, west, close to the mountains that lie next to the Pacific range.  I’m glad we did.  From the freeway, you can see the fields, the houses, the ranches, but being on a 2-lane bumpy road brings it up close.  The area is vast and flat, a valley between two ranges.  Here, all sorts of crops are grown, and it is really beautiful countryside.

This is from a photo I took with my phone, all with the intention of using it as painting material.  I think it worked out rather well.

Clouds Above the Fields

I don’t know about most people who paint, but I expect every painting to be a masterpiece.  Of course, this is silly.  I don’t think about practicing things, such as painting clouds.  However, I watched a few YouTube videos on cloud painting and decided to give it a go.  I found a picture on Pixabay I liked, filled with clouds, and a plowed field stretching to the horizon.  To me, it just seems a bit ridiculous not to try to paint a masterpiece each time – really, practice – so a finished picture it is.

Clouds really are variable, but there is a tendency to overwork them.  Here, I simply tried to get a sense of white-white-white and ways in which clouds have contrast, shadow, distance, and how they look in the sky.  These are rather poofy ones, without any defining characteristics other than that.

Since this was practice, I put in some black ink lines just to see how they “feel” in a painting.  Don’t know if I like them . . .

Birds Above the Fields

I am sort of fascinated by flower farms at present, whether it is bulb flowers or lavender or other types, such as daisies for bouquets.  The lines of color and how to represent them is a challenge.  Here, we are looking across the fields – the rows are running parallel to the horizon.  Still, there is depth here, and I would think the rows would be evident, however subtly.  Well, I didn’t accomplish what I wanted, but decided to add ink and some white to it, along with a lot of birds.  In looking at it, I realize the foreground needs to simplified and in my mind’s eye, I have some ideas.