"Prairie Dreaming"


I think that the majority of my successful paintings have focused on the prairies. This scene is a hot, bright and windy summer day. Clouds are building, and an evening thunderstorm may develop. Clear blue skies in egg tempera require careful and tedious crosshatching, a technique easily seen in many of the most famous tempera paintings. I cannot recall ever seeing any clouds in an egg tempera painting, so this piece may be a departure.

I have come to the conclusion that a true blue representation of a summer sky is just too fierce in a painting. I prefer ‘cobalt blue’ to ‘ultramarine blue’ for clear skies. ‘Ultramarine blue’ is a real killer... very strong and overpowering. But as I do not have ‘cobalt blue’ in dry pigment, I had to use ‘ultramarine blue’ in this painting, greatly diluted with white. As the "BUFFALO HUNT" sky is quite cloudy, I used ‘ultramarine blue’ for the darkest clouds. Can you see the crosshatching in the tempera? Can you see the difference in the clouds? How do the prairie grasses compare with each other?

20 x 40 inches    ||    egg tempera

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