Art2Art’s super-talented Paula Oakley has shares the progress of her painting “Harness and Plough”. These pictures clearly demonstrate how a strong drawing underpins a strong painting. Paula writes:

“Harness and plough”. Acrylic on box canvas. 20″x 16″x 1.5″ This painting was inspired by a day at the Sussex County ploughing contest which was held in my village. I wanted to capture the relationship between the farmer and his beautiful Shire horses. Working from the reference photographs I took, the first step was to draw up the picture using a simple grid.
Painting progress by Paula Oakley

Next the background is added, at this stage it doesn’t matter about painting over the lines of the main subjects as the acrylic paint will cover any overspill. The sky is a solid opaque coat of blue using a 1/2 ” flat brush but the rest of the work will be painted using size 1 and smaller,( I like Daler Rowney Acryla brushes)
Painting progress by Paula Oakley

Work can now be started on the horse, the whole area was painted in Paynes Grey (I never use black as it looks dull and lifeless). Highlights are added in thin washes (glazes) of of lighter colours and detail progresses.Painting progress by Paula OakleyPainting progress by Paula Oakley

Now work on the farmer begins, again the whole area is painted in before adding highlights and shading with built up glazes, although several layers are needed acrylics dry very quickly.

Finally the small detail is added and the foreground completed. Harness and Plough by Paula Oakley

See more of Paula’s paintings at her Art2Arts page.