I have been working through some sketches lately to arrive at 5 or 6 pictures that I can work up into large canvases. The first 2 have been on my easel for the last couple of days. I have taken some photos to show a bit of the process of how I work them up.
North Superior Coast
Here is the under painted 30 x 40 canvas. I prefer to work with wet on wet. The colours are applied on a wet warm coloured ground. As a fall scene, little chips of this ground that show through should add to the overall warmth. Here I am building the mid tones and the shadows. There will be a lot of green in the darkened foreground – in the underpainting I am working in purples to make the green more luminous when they are overpainted.
The colour is built up evenly across the whole canvas – balance is important so I am not focusing on one specific area – just working evenly across the whole picture.
And getting close to the final picture – a few more touches and it will be completed.
One of the most interesting places I have canoed is Killarney Park – the white stone there is really striking – it takes on the colour of the surrounding light. That’s the thinking behind this image – the sketch is high contrast – bright sky with almost sillohetted pines and rock. But the rock (being almost) white also takes on the colour of the sky.
The under painting begins for the 40 X 30 version – composition is important with a simple bold images like this so if I get it right in the sketch, I want to maintain it for the larger canvas – a grid is used to scale up the sketch to ensure the balance is similar. I have added in a few more trees at the larger size – to providing more visual interest.
Here is the final painting – the white rocks are reflecting the blue of the sky – the pines almost seem to be surrounded by water – but they are at the top of Silver Peak – the highest mountain in Killarney.