(My "On the Easel" posts give you a behind-the-scenes look at what I am working on, what went well, what went wrong, and things I learn).
I have a few recent paintings to share. Here's one of them, Impressions of Noosa. I had mixed feelings about the outcome of this, but it’s come to grow on me. Something different at the very least. I also think it's worth sharing paintings that didn't go exactly as planned as this gives you a fair idea of what goes on in the studio. Often, the best lessons learned come from paintings that you have to stumble your way through.
I have also shared some beautiful student works at the end of this post based on my Noosa reference photos.
- Oil on stretched canvas. 12x16 inches.
- Main colors: Ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, permanent alizarin crimson, cadmium red, cadmium orange, cadmium yellow, viridian green, terra rosa, and titanium white.
Refer to my supplies list for more details on what I use.
- This was my second attempt at painting this. The first attempt was going well, until it wasn't. It doesn't matter how long I have been painting; every failure hurts. I ran out of titanium white and tried to foolishly paint with the remaining scraps of it on my palette. But that just resulted in poor decision making and compensating. I share this as a word of caution—make sure you have all your supplies in order before you start painting. It might save you a few failed attempts.
- I started the painting with a thin wash of color. But I regret doing so, as the dark surface worked against the high-key colors of the painting. If I were to paint this again, I’d paint directly onto the white surface.
- The main features I tried to capture are: 1) The contrast between the shadowed foreground and the light background; 2) The light glimmering on the water; and finally 3) The subtle boats in the distance.
- I painted in a high-key to capture the overall feeling of light.
- I started with brushwork but ended up using mostly a palette knife to apply impasto strokes. Palette knife strokes can really inject life into an otherwise flat painting. Though I wouldn’t recommend pivoting from mostly brushwork to mostly palette knife work midway through a painting; I only did so in this case to save the painting.
- One of the main challenges of this painting was getting everything to fit together. It doesn’t matter how well the individual parts are painted if they don’t work as a whole.
- I drew inspiration from the Russian masters for this painting, including Bato Dugarzhapov and Slava Korolenkov. It's a challenging way to paint. Too loose and you end up with a sloppy mess; too tight and it looks overworked. The Russians make it look effortless.
Not long ago I shared some Noosa reference photos for painting inspiration. I was pleased to have several readers email back with finished paintings. Beautiful work!
Thanks for Reading!
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I appreciate it! Feel free to share with friends. If you want more painting tips, check out my Painting Academy course.
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