On the Easel: Wellington Point, High Contrast

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(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). 

Below is Wellington Point, High Contrast. This was a fun one. It's a play of broken color and contrast.

Dan Scott, Wellington Point, High Contrast, 2021
Dan Scott, Wellington Point, High Contrast, 2021

Reference Photo and Study

Here's the reference photo:

Dan Scott, Reference Photo, Wellington Point High Contrast 700W

Feel free to try and paint it for yourself. Just let me know how you go.

Details

  • Oil on Ambersand gessoboard. 18 x 24 inches.
  • Main colors: Transparent brown oxide, ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow, cadmium yellow deep, viridian green, and titanium white.

Refer to my supplies list for more details on what I use.

Notes

  • The tree and its cast shadow are linked. This is a form of simplification. Instead of two distinct elements, we have one larger one.
  • The big idea of this painting is color contrast. The high key background against the dark foreground. Much like Claude Monet’s Juan-Les-Pins.
Claude Monet, Juan-Les-Pins, 1888
Claude Monet, Juan-Les-Pins, 1888
  • Most of my time was spent painting the leaves at the top. I built up many layers of broken color, using all kinds of techniques. Dabbing, lifting, scraping, multicolored strokes... anything to get the desired effect.
  • The thick texture creates tiny cast shadows on the painting. This is known as raking light. It adds an interesting dimension to the painting.

Progress Shots

Step 1: Stain the canvas with transparent brown oxide.

WIP 1, Dan Scott, Wellington Point High Contrast 2021

Step 2: Lift paint to suggest basic shapes.

WIP 2, Dan Scott, Wellington Point High Contrast 2021

Step 3: Work on the negative shapes (the sky and sea).

WIP 3, Dan Scott, Wellington Point High Contrast 2021

Step 4: Start on the sand and tree.

WIP 4, Dan Scott, Wellington Point High Contrast 2021

Step 5: Add rich greens.

WIP 5, Dan Scott, Wellington Point High Contrast 2021

Step 6: Render the tree trunk and main branches.

WIP 6, Dan Scott, Wellington Point High Contrast 2021

Step 7: Block in the rest of the sand and foreground.

WIP 7, Dan Scott, Wellington Point High Contrast 2021

Step 8: Block in the rest of the tree.

WIP 8, Dan Scott, Wellington Point High Contrast 2021
WIP 9, Dan Scott, Wellington Point High Contrast 2021

Step 9: Add dabs of blue to suggest gaps between the leaves.

WIP 10, Dan Scott, Wellington Point High Contrast 2021

Step 10: Build up layers of broken color. Then refine.

WIP 12, Dan Scott, Wellington Point High Contrast 2021

Step 11: Photograph the finished painting.

Dan Scott, Wellington Point, High Contrast 2021

Additional Resources

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I appreciate it! Feel free to share with friends. Want to learn more about landscape painting? Check out my Landscape Painting Masterclass.

Happy painting!

Signature Draw Paint Academy

Dan Scott

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