I enjoyed my painting time this morning, even though I wasn’t able to successfully complete the scene I set out to do. The inspiration came from a book I found at Amazon: Creating Your Own Masterpieces in Oil by T. Stonefield. The author takes a slow, patient approach, and I enjoyed the leisurely pace.
A large part of Stonefield’s teaching method involves value, understanding how to create depth and distance in a landscape by using the proper tints and shades of various colors.
Although this painting might look like others I’ve done, there were many things different about this one. Instead of my familiar canvas panels, I used a stretched canvas for this one. Instead of composing the scene “on-the-fly” at the easel, this one was sketched out in advance.
Previously I tried sketching a scene on canvas, and it didn’t work for me. I’d used graphite the first time. Stonefield taught me to use ink. The results were much better.
After sketching out the basic features of the landscape, I used a thin mix of raw umber for an underpainting. I love the way it shows through to give a touch of warmth to the skies.
The colors I used for the painting were raw umber, titanium white, cerulean blue, cadmium red, cadmium yellow, and Indian yellow.
The scene was supposed to have a river running through it, and I’m sure you can see where I tried to paint the water. I couldn’t get the river right with my initial sketch, changed it, couldn’t get it right when I tried painting it, changed it, tried it again, and still just couldn’t get the river running through this scene.
I decided that even though the scene might look a bit incomplete without the water, it looks better than it would with an ill-painted river meandering around the foreground. I will keep working on rivers. Maybe the next one will be better, good enough to include in a painting.
As it is, I like a lot about the painting, and I very much enjoyed the process of planning the scene, sketching it out and giving careful thought to the values. I especially enjoyed mixing the colors from the palette I chose.
I’m happy. It was a good day at the easel. I like what I created.