(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.)
Let’s take a look at how I painted Maryvale, Cows. This is one of my favorite paintings from this year.
Below is the reference photo I painted from. Feel free to paint it for yourself. Here is a link to the full-size image.
- Oil on Ampersand Gessoboard,18 x 24 inches.
- Main colors: Ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow, cadmium yellow light, viridian green, and titanium white.
Refer to my supplies list for more details on what I use.
Notes and Lessons Learned
- I used a diverse range of techniques in this painting in an effort to capture the landscape’s complex and dynamic appearance. Scratching, flicking, dabbing, broken color, palette knife strokes, multicolored strokes, wet over dry, impasto texture, and scumbling.
- The painting has two distinct segments: the cows and the landscape. I used a different approach for each segment. For the cows, I was more careful with my rendering and paid particular attention to the form, structure, anatomy, and edges. For the landscape, I was more focused on the ambience, color, and texture.
- A key challenge was making the parts fit. The cows needed to appear distinct and realistic yet also as one with the surrounding landscape.
- The painting follows an analogous color scheme. That is, it features colors that are closely related—green, yellow, blue, and many tonal variations in between. This color scheme appears calming and peaceful when it works.
- I’m having this painting and a few others framed. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Want to Learn More?
You might be interested in my Painting Academy course. I’ll walk you through the time-tested fundamentals of painting. It’s perfect for absolute beginner to intermediate painters.
Thanks for Reading!
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