Three Degrees: Fourth Wash—Patience is Required


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Three Degrees: Fourth Wash—Patience is Required

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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.

3 Degrees 4th

This is a building process, and for this particular painting, I am moving very deliberately. That is not to say that I don’t use brushwork to move quickly at times to get uniform color, but this a careful process. In a white on white painting, you build subtle layers, adding colors in lighter applications than in other subjects. You can always darken subsequent layers, but you can’t go back and lighten. Well it’s possible, it’s just not desirable.

I progressively add more color to areas, moving over the entire painting, keeping the overall scene in mind at all times. I work in the houses across the street, and develop the far houses to the right as well. I also spend a good amount of time on the largest house. This will become the basis for the rest of the painting. It is the largest area of color other than the snow, and it will drive the color and hue of the other house in the middle, as well as the peripheral houses. I use more Indigo and Cobalt here, still using diluted pigments, but introducing darker hues. I keep it subtle and under control, thinking ahead to how I want these layers to build to the final. I step back frequently from the easel, and critically evaluate what is happening, this is important. You can’t rush.