All this to say that in the time between this post about the story and the last nearly a month ago, is that I've drawn too many variants of the scene and have painted three. First I got rid of the big house in order to have a thatched cottage that would look more friendly - plus, I added a couple of sheep just to keep things a bit more lively (thanks, Linda). You can see from this drawing that the watercolor paper had already been seriously overworked so the painting that came from it was unsalvageable for that reason alone but, once again there was no barn and, worse still, the farmer looked sinister. Since that one got tossed before I finished coloring, it doesn't count as a painting I finished. Nevertheless I liked the idea of a town being hinted at in the background.
Then I returned to the large house plan and modified it with a sizeable barn visible behind the farmer, along with a tree that would help to harmonize the greens of the surroundings. The sheep would stay. I actually liked this version enough that I painted it more than once. I won't show you the first because.. er, have you ever looked at truly bilious greens? It practically dove into the garbage without my help.
Anyway, the third try looks okay (it will just have to do). The second painting was finished without problems and now I'm working on the last one. In a couple of days I'll post the whole story but in the meantime here's a preview:
One fine May morning a local hillside farmer had just finished putting up a sign that read 'Puppies For Sale', when who should he see pulling a wagon along the path but a small boy. I'm sure you know signs like that do have a way of attracting children.
'How much are you going to sell the puppies for?', he asked.
The farmer replied, 'They're working dogs so I'll be asking $50.'
The little boy reached in his pocket and pulled out some change. "I have $2.37," he said. "Can I please look at them?"
The farmer smiled and said, 'Right this way', pointing to the old barn next to the house.
(and to think I'd planned four pictures..)