The craft of making a picture, or dare I say art, usually involves more than putting the paint on canvas. I'm always interested to learn how other artists approach their craft and so I thought I would share the steps I went through to create the 20"x16" painting below.
It started with me standing awestruck before Hallett Peak while hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. I grabbed my sketchpad and drew this thumbnail sketch:
Later, at home I worked out the value design:
The line drawing below shows where I wanted the energy and focus to be - darker, heavier lines are where the highest contrasts and focal point will be:
Next, I painted this 14"x11" to see if the colors and design worked together to communicate my concept:
I then put the first painting away for a few weeks. With a fresh eye, I pulled the painting out again and did some critical thinking about what I would need to adjust to make a successful larger version. The notes below show the key changes I wanted to make:
I had to have a plan for value, color, line, and composition that would come together to communicate the grandeur of the place and my response to it. Once the elements were resolved I began work on the 20"x16" canvas.
|Step 1: blocking in the main shapes|
|Step 2: first pass of sky and mountain. Accurate value and color.|
|Comparing concept piece with the larger painting|
|Step 4: painting middle ground and main tree|
|Step 5: first pass on foreground. Orchestrating shapes and colors in foreground |
is critical for visual flow and interest.
|Step 6: Refined the shapes within the mountain, scumbled warm highlights on middle ground trees,|
refined the large trees between foreground and middleground (on left), adjusted the rock shapes and
added final details to the foreground plants.
|Step 7: Frame!|
This frame was hand made for this painting by Mike Otteman
of Otteman Arts in Loveland Colorado
|I also sign and title the back of the painting along with the date, medium and varnish used.|
Use the comment box below to let me know your thoughts about my painting or process. I love hearing from you!