Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Misty Day At Triple Falls" Demo - from plein-air study to completed studio painting.

Here is a demonstration of how I took a 12" x 12" plein-air painting back into the studio and worked it up into a 36" x 30" studio version.

Above is my plein air study of "Misty Day At Triple Falls" 12" x 12" oil on panel.

For my studio version of the painting, instead of a square format, I wanted to have a more vertical aspect, allowing me to develop more interest and a bit more of a lead-in to the main subject. The canvas chosen was a 36" x 30" with an oil primed surface. At this stage, I mixed a warm neutral from burnt sienna and ultramarine blue to tone the canvas and also to indicate the main shapes in the composition.

Though I often work from a more limited palette, here I've extended it to include burnt sienna, viridian and chromatic black. This stage shows the initial blocking in of the large shapes with general local colors.

Here I continue to develop areas in general terms. I'm still working with relatively thin paint, and scumbling in some areas of the rocks for added interest and textural effects.

At this stage, I start letting the paint really build on the surface. I want to be able to work wet-into-wet and be able to control edges as I approach the final stages and detail.

Here, paint was applied quite generously, and in some areas of the rocks, with a palette knife. I don't often use a palette knife, but in this painting, the areas of broken color and texture in the foreground rocks really came to life when I let the knife's magic go to work. Using a different tool, like a palette knife, can feel awkward at first, but with practice, it can become a vital part of the arsenal to achieve a desired effect. There is always a moment when "the painting" tells me to stop, and here is the final version of "Misty Day At Triple Falls" oil on oil primed canvas 36" x 30".

For more information, feel free to send an email:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Today is my lucky day :)
Apple is giving review copies of iPad to 100 lucky person. Go to and apply for it.