Tuesday: Thinking shapes of color


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Tuesday: Thinking shapes of color

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I work into the closer trees on the right; these will establish the core of the reflections in the pond. On these trees, there is more detail in the branches, but I still need to keep it loose…back to careful randomness! I work fast here, spontaneity being the key. I’m using only Davy’s Gray and Indigo Blue now. I will use only four pigments throughout this painting; I am focusing on the subtle interplay ofthese colors to achieve the mood I want.
Winter scenes obviously do not have the endless variations of color and tone as say, a spring scene would have, but it is not that simple. The effect of the subdued winter light makes it extremely important to study and recognize the subtle variations it creates in the landscape, and use these to infuse the painting with life and feeling.
Keeping it simple, adding and subtracting as I feel, I move through this phase fairly quickly.

Tuesday 2

After the sky has dried completely, and the masking fluid is removed, it is time to establish the foundation for the painting. This is most important. I work from the distant back to the front of a painting, laying areas of color that I will build upon as the painting progresses. I work fast here – thinking shapes of color, not buildings, keeping it loose.

I also establish depth and distance by going into some detail in the background houses and skyline. The snow on the roofs of the middle distance buildings will be a very important visual in the painting, so I take care to render this area with sharper detail, but still keeping an overall looseness, remembering that I will build color and tone on top of this area. Equally important at this early stage of work is the unifying aspect the distant and middle distant buildings have. They are a visual bridge connecting the larger, stronger elements on each side of the painting.

This is a critical step in the painting, but it is important to realize that while this step must not be overlooked, it also must not be overworked. Time to move on.