Plainsman-value study–Day 5


7"x5" oil on canvas panel

7″x5″ oil on canvas panel

Plainsman-value study

Day 5—Painting a day challenge for February

Here is the link to the painting in Daily Paintworks Gallery:–value-study/330572

Continuing with the value studies theme, here is another one of Bob, the same guy from day 1. He too, has such a great look and I have so much reference material to work from. Again, I could probably do a whole month of paintings of him as well.

With today’s painting, I thought it would be fun to share a bit of trivia about plainsmen and the old west way of life. I’ve been reading a little book that surprisingly enough, I found at a local resale shop—it’s been quite a little “treasure” and proved to be more than worth the $1 I paid for it!

Barbed wire, a fencing material made of twisted wire with spaced coiled barbs, turned the open plains of the West into enclosed pastures and forever changed the society and economy of the region. It was the invention of Illinois farmer Joseph Farwell Glidden who received his patent in November 24, 1874. Ranchers could now isolate their cattle and control breeding.

On the vast prairie where firewood was often scarce, cowchips were regularly used for fires. Camp cooks relied on them, as when they were dry, they made a hot fire. Of course the burning chips gave off an unsavory smell, but, thankfully, it did not affect the food. One old range cook who used his hat for a bellows claimed that in one season he “wore out three good hats trying to get the damned things to burn.”

On the cattle drives, when the chuck wagon cook was finished with his work for the day and before hitting the sack, he would always place the tongue of the chuck wagon facing north. When the trail master started in the morning he would look at the tongue and then know what direction he would be moving the herd.




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4 Responses to “Plainsman-value study–Day 5”

  1. Michael Scott Says:

    Very nice and I love the story behind it. are you using sepia paint?

    • veronicabrownart Says:

      Thank you! I am using Daler Rowney’s Georgian oil paint in Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber. I thin my paints with Gamblin brand Gamsol solvent. I am painting them on medium tooth canvas panels that I picked up at Michael’s. I wanted something fairly inexpensive that I could use for a full month of these since this is more of an exercise and challenge to me than painting for a show or competition.

      • Michael Scott Says:

        So cool. I asked because I once painted a series with sepia and it had much the same look. Great opportunity to work on composition. Looking good

      • veronicabrownart Says:

        Thanks for asking! I’m finding this is the best way to learn new tricks. I love the feedback! I’m really having fun with these because they are small enough to not take too much time but still work on the fundimentals of composition and values. What sizes did you do your series in? These are all 5″x7″…..I bought 30 of these little panels just for this project. 🙂 I have to admit, I may be hooked on this size. I used to feel I needed to paint large to fit everything I wanted to say in a painting… has really changed my way of thinking. Thanks for following along!

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