Wednesday, April 27, 2011

next painting: landscape

source photo from wet canvas
for my next painting i decided to go a bit more traditional and do a landscape. i found a photo of a great mountain lake with the sun reflecting off the distant mountains giving them an incredible gold-ish color. the values will be very important in this painting as there is some linear perspective to give it some depth but very little atmospheric perspective. so, value will play a role in making the distant structures recede. here is copy of the photo which i got from the wet canvas southwestern/western art forum challenge for march 2011.

draawing for painting "santa d'oros"
to start the process i lightly drew in the major landscape elements onto a 14"X20" 140# rough piece of fabriano artistico watercolor paper, which is shown here. i tried to manipulate the photo so you could see the pencil lines better, but ia am not sure it worked too well.

first washes on "santa d'oros"
after the drawing i started painting in the sky. the blue was cerulean blue and the gray was payne's gray. in places i warmed up the shadow areas with one of the siennas. i must note that i rarely if ever use payne's gray but i have seen other artists use this pigment to good effect. i was very dissappointed in the outcome using this paint (the brand was holbein).

additional washes and corrections on "santa d'oros"
 it was very invasive and the siennas did not blend well into it wet-in-wet. i wish i had used my old stand-by cobalt blue with burnt or raw sienna. i next painted the left sided mid ground mountain with cadmium orange and burnt sienna for the sun-drenched top and cobalt blue, burnt and raw sienna for the bottom 75%. the more distant gold mountains were painted in with the same colors. all of this was painted using a #10 round brush. the firs on the far side of the lake were nest substituting ultramarine blue for the cobalt and adding some hooker's green and quinacridone gold in areas that are probably fairly obvious. the reflections in the lake on the left side recapitulated the colors in the distance behind the lake. at this point i took stock of where we were and i realized that the sky was way too busy for the rest of the painting. i will have to fix that later. also the values are a bit off so the receding landscape is a little confusing. another tweak necessary soon.

the sky was relatively easy to tone down by painting it with clear water and lightly brushing it with my 3/4" flat and then blotting it with paper towel. i added a warm glaze of burnt sienna over the left gray mountain side which made it darker and warmer, both of which served to make it come least i hope. i also darkened and "blued" the fir forest on the far side of the lake which i hope made it recede a bit. this step was finished by painting the rest of the gold mountain with cadmium orange and burnt sienna. at some point right about here i discovered that i liked using the flat brush for this step better than the round and it came in handy for suggesting the ridges of darker rock running through the formation. the fir forest "fingers" were extended to the right over the lower mountain side with the same colors as before. more of the reflections were added to the water as shown. the pine trees of the left foreground were painted using the same flat brush and various combinations of ultramarine blue or hookers green mixed with burnt sienna or quinacridone gold right on the paper. additional colors were ivory black and quinacridone  gold, cerulean blue and cadmium yellow medium. i also used some mineral violet near the base of the trees and elsewhere for shadows on the boughs to add a blush of an additional color being careful to blend it in at the bottom so that when i put in the foreground it will not make a hard transition unless i want it to have one. the last thing was putting the small distant cabin on the island just to the right of the midline using alizarin crimson permanent dulled a bit with hookers green or oxide of chromium(i can't remember which at this time!)
it seems to me that the values of the reflections on the lake will have to be adjusted but i will wait until more of the painting is finished just to make sure that this impression is correct. that's all for now.

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