Monday, July 14, 2008

Snow Scene - Landscape Oil Painting Demonstration Part II

Learning to paint cont'd -- Part 2

Welcome back or just welcome if you are new to my blog. First I'd like to introduce you to my etsy shop where you can buy beautiful prints of my work for yourself or they are ideal as presents for your friends if you can't think what to get them, especially as I price them at a very reasonable 10 - 14 dollars. Now on to the lesson... enjoy!

Continued from the previous day posting. Click to part 1 to see the beginning of this online painting demonstration. Above is a photo which was shown in an earlier post, obtained off free photo directory. I started a painting of this scene on a primed mounted canvas 12"x 16". To see a different snowscene of my art see crisp winter.

Further underpainting - Achieving the illusion of distance
Now I progressed on to the remainder of the sky using the manganese blue and titanium white as before. At this stage I am losing the sensation of a flat surface as the depth in the picture begins to take over. This is a stage I really enjoy. To further enhance the feeling of depth I deliberately keep the low sky lighter than the upper reaches and I am conscious to reduce colour contrast in the far distance and allow the greatest colour contrasts in the foreground. With this in mind I begin to work on each individual fence post. I use a smaller brush, similar to a watercolour brush, not hoghair and size 1 or so. It's personal choice on that one. I mix a small amount of raw umber with sufficient titanium white, and add a small amount of ultramarine blue, to achieve that lighter grey brown of the fence posts. Adding ultramarine also helps to balance everything in the painting. Sometimes I don't allow the mix to be complete, to create slight variations in the painting. For the darker shadows of the fence posts I omit or reduce the white in the mix. I reduce the colour contrasts in the distant fence posts. I painted the central distant hill in a grey mix, almost but not quite the same as the fence posts, being careful not to make it too dark, so as to sit back.


Underpainting - Middle Distance

At this stage, it is getting easier for to see what colours fit in the painting, as it is taking on an overall colour "feel". However it still looks a little lacking in balance. I want to introduce a slightly warm colour into the painting, just a hint, to stop it being too cold, colourwise. The reference photo has this in the middle distance in the shape of several bushes and shrubs. Using a small brush again I finish off the left side fence posts, before beginning these middle distance
elements. There is a small amount of hill appearing beyond the bushes and tree branches, so I complete this first in a similar manner to the central mountain, see above. For the bushes I am careful to lightly sketch their shapes and positions using a small brush and light amounts of raw umber. I pay attention to leave the spaces where snow can be seen between the bushes. For the bushes, I use venetian red, mixed with and dominated by raw umber. To darken the overall mix, I add some portions of ultramarine blue. I don't blend everything into a single shade but try to keep variety of shade in the bushes structure. I refer to the photo to paint the areas lighter or darker as necessary, using no ultramarine in the lighter areas.

End of Underpainting - Final Cleaning Up
In this stage, it remained to go back over the painting and search for obvious flaws, areas of no paint and other problems such as inital sketch showing through. I finished the central bush completely, repainted the shadows cast by the fence posts, using a smaller brush than the original hog hair, and covered the area of the sky where the tree had been sketched. The sketch drawing was showing through and I didn't need it as I intended to draw the tree in after the sky was dry. I also used a dry brush to smooth out the brushstrokes throughout the painting. I cleaned the brush before moving to areas of different colours. Using a small brush I painted snow up to the edges of all fence posts. Then I left the painting to dry.

I called this the underpainting stage, and it is, but depending on how well it has worked, much of the underpainting may suffice for the final painting. I will include further follow-up posts, to show the continuation of this "work in progress", in the near future, so check back to see that.

I may replace the last photo above with another as it was taken outside in evening light, but all the other photos were taken outside in daylight. The colours appear slightly dulled from the actual painting.

That's it for now and hope you enjoy these on-line demonstrations. All feedback is welcome, so feel free to post a comment.

1 comment:

Seaview said...

I did a search on oil painting and snow scenes and arrived at yours - I'm so pleased I did, it's wonderful!