Red Barn Outside of Castroville, CA – Landscape Day 8

I’ve always wanted to paint a red barn. One day, as we were heading to the beach last summer, this beautiful barn outside of Castroville California appeared on the side of the road. I took a photo from the moving car and tucked it away in my stash of reference photos thinking I would paint it some day.

Red Barn Painting work in progress.
Painting the background using a paint scraper.

There is something iconic about a red barn. I’ve watched countless painters painting a red barn on PBS. Some people will say PBS painters are kind of boring with their landscapes and maybe they are, but I have learned so many techniques and how to move paint around a canvas by watching people like Bob Ross work. For a mostly self-taught painter, these painting shows have been a wonderful resource for me. So, I think in a way, this red barn painting is in homage to all of the painters on PBS kind enough to share their talents and abilities with the world. Thank you, PBS, for having shows like this so regular people like me can become better at their craft! I appreciate you more than you know.

Red Barn Background
Red Barn Background

I decided to try painting with a pallete knife and with some paint scrapers I got at the hardware store. I didn’t want this painting to be too fussy and I also really wanted to see if I could create something recognizable using a pallette knife.

Red Barn Work In Progress.
Using a palette knife

I thought it was a really fun way to paint. I am definitely going to try it again.

Work in progress Red Barn landscape painting by Lillian Connelly.
Red Barn outside of Castroville (work in progress).

I don’t think this painting is finished. It needs something. I am just not sure what yet so I am going to leave it alone for a while and see what I think the next time I look at it with fresh eyes. It definitely feels like a technique painting. It’s more about the paint and the pallete knife than about the red barn. I think that happens sometimes when you are learning a new skill.

Red Barn Outside of Castroville
Red Barn Outside of Castroville 24 x 20 acrylic on canvas.

Have a happy Monday…I hope you are surviving Day Lights Savings time.



6 thoughts on “Red Barn Outside of Castroville, CA – Landscape Day 8”

  1. I love it! I agree about there being something about red barns. To me, it feels homey. I know, that’s kinda strange, but I’m a country girl at heart.

  2. Lillian, this is a lovely painting. I share your love for red barns! I think I should check out PBS more often, I forget about that!!! Thanks!

    I love palette knife paintings…they are so loose and painterly. I just noticed you are from New Mexico…do you know of Julie Ford Oliver’s work? She is from New Mexico too and she has a class on painting with a fractured technique that you would probably really enjoy doing. Her blog is here and there’s a link to the class in the upper right hand if it interests you. You may already know her, but if you don’t you’ll be glad you do. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I am off to check out Julie Ford Oliver. I don’t know many artists in “real” life yet. I think having a small child keeps me home and busy so I am mostly on the Internet connecting to people. My daughter is getting older so I am trying to branch out a little. This will help. 🙂

  3. A red barn is such a classic! Very nice painting and I love seeing the process images. It is fascinating to watch Bob Ross, he was such a master of technique. I like his brand of brushes too, good but not too expensive.

    1. Thanks for endorsing his brushes. I think I’ll try them. I have trouble finding brushes that I like and can afford. I am hard on them so it pains me to spend too much on a brush even though I know the quality can sometimes make a big difference.

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