Monday, July 21, 2008

Snowscene - Landscape Oil Painting Demonstration Part III

This is a continuation of the Oil Painting Demonstration Part II which I showed last week. Here is Part I of the Painting Demonstration.

Having completed the "undercoat" last week, and allowing it to dry, I now wanted to go over the entire picture, increasing and refining the detail where necessary. Much of the work I am doing in this stage will be harder to see, between photos but it is there if you look closely. Sometimes it's just an additional layer of paint to reinforce the colour where it was patchy, in other cases you can see more detail added. Compare the photos carefully to see the gradual changes.

I am using a combination of a flat hog hair brush size 2 for larger areas and a small sable brush, similar to a small watercolour brush for more accuracy. In the above I began with the sky. I used manganese blue and titanium white for the blue of the sky. I repainted this sky surrounding the cloud. I would not mix the manganese blue and white so much on the palette but rather add tiny amounts to the area of the canvas and blend it in. Just below the cloud to the left I would add the blue and blend it downwards and above the horizon to the left I added white and blended it up. In the deeper upper blue area, I mixed it on the palette first.

I also started some reworking of the clouds. I used ultramarine blue with white, varying amounts to create shadow intensity. Some very small amount (barely a hint) of raw umber was added to the mix, for to create a darker shadow in places.

The next photo above, shows more reworking of the cloud. To explain exactly what I am doing is difficult, but I am only using the three colours, ultramarine blue, titanium white and tiniest, almost unnoticeable amount of raw umber. I use my own instinct and natural brushstroke to define the cloud in a more realistic way. I also went back over the cloud just above the horizon and deepened the colour.

Between this photo and the previous, I also worked on the snow to the right of the painting. Using a small brush I painted the shadows in the distance snow using a mix of cobalt blue and manganese blue. I tried to paint them with a fairly dry brushstroke and intend to blend them in later. I painted another layer of white on the white snow areas, trying to further define the shapes of the fence posts. I also used a combination of various lighter and darker mixes of cobalt blue and manganese blue to create variety in the shadows on the right foreground snow. In some lighter snow areas I used manganese blue mixed with white only.
Using all the colours I mentioned previously I have continued to improve the shadows on the snow. I painted the fence shadows in the central snow area and using a clean dry brush (size medium) I smoothed out the shadows on the distant snow at the right, blending them down. For a section of snow shadows to the right of the left side fence posts, I used only ultramarine blue and white mixed. On the right foreground I darkened the shadow slightly by infilling some lighter areas with manganese blue mixed with slight amount of cobalt blue. For the darker areas this is nearly all cobalt blue. The area on the right was beginning to look very different from the rest of the foreground and in the next photo I repainted the middle and left foreground in a similar fashion to rectify this. The painting now has a slightly darker foreground but one with much more shadow and colour variations than before. Hopefully, a more interesting foreground but I have to be careful about overworking the painting now, as I have already lost some of the spontaneous feel of the undercoat painting.

The painting is almost complete except for to put in the tree, fence wire and some slight further refinement of shadows, and perhaps brighten the white snow. Depending on how the foreground looks at that stage, I might try a glaze to lighten it a little if it feels to dark, but that depends on the overall feeling of balance. I will have to wait and see. I shall post again on the final stage of the painting soon. But that's it for today. All feed back will be read with feel free to comment.

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