Step By Step Plein Air Tractor

Plein Air 12 x 16

 I will post a better photo after it's dry.

My block in on a pre-tinted canvas. I was using a 3/4" brush and linked all my shadows to solidify the mass. My darks are not all one shade. They shift from cool and warms and I added some Sap green into the mixture in the grass shadows.

My Subject - Interesting to compare photo with final painting and see where drawing errors happened. Much harder to see when your in the heat of the battle.  

I jumped into the details of the tractor because I liked what the light was doing at that moment and it was the fun part to paint. Tried real hard to leave as much of the beginning darks alone to keep my depth.

I used this long haired brush from Ace Hardware for laying in my grass. It puts down a lot of paint and the bristles make long sweeping texture. Not bad for a .99 cent brush. I typically put the most texture in the foreground and spots I want to highlight. You can see the brush I used at the bottom of the painting.
You can see the size of the painting in this shot if you can look past my my handsome profile.

Working some fence details and adding in the roof. I want the fence to have depth, but I don't get carried away with any one part. Also, I try and keep the darks in the fence connected to the darks in the tractor since they are on the same plane. I paint in my sky last after laying in more trees. After the sky is in, I work the tree branches back on top of the sky. I try to not bring much attention to this area. When I was close to finishing I changed the angle of the house roof on the right side to point back towards my tractor since it is my main subject. ( see final picture )


  1. Always nice to catch up on your blog Randy! Trucks and tractors!!...some of my favorite subjects....but I haven't found a good one lately! Glad to see you have!..and this is a beauty! Nice job man! Thanks for posting the process!

  2. Always appreciate the comments Robin. Heres hopping you find an old truck soon. You paint them fantastic!