Here's a three phase look at one way I approach a subject that requires a bit of accurate drawing. The old farm house with its entry and porch make up the focus of the painting. I want to get that down right up front, so I don't have to wrestle with re-working a drawing error, like size, proportion or construction, after committing it to color and thick paint. This process is done in oil, alla prima, not waiting for the layers to dry.
STEP ONE: Using a mixture of raw sienna and transparent red oxide, I scrubbed in a very loose, transparent arrangement of the
STEP TWO: I loosely cover the shapes with relatively thin, semi-opaque mixtures of colors that approximate temperature relationships rather than local color (warm foreground darks, and growing cooler as I move into the foreground and distance. These colors not only help me establish the tone of light and atmospheric perspective, but will make an interesting underpainting for the next application. I'm careful to retain the three simple value relationship of the shapes.
STEP THREE: Keeping to the three values that make up the composition, I mix thick opaque colors that now approximate average local colors. Rather than scrubbing into the under layers, I'm careful to lay the paint on with light strokes. By being careful to mix the value and color I want, I can leave the strokes without working back into them, so as to not dirty the color by disturbing the under paint.
With these steps accomplished, I can give attention to the focal area, adding a bit of detail, strengthening contrasts of value and color, placing a few dark accents and hi-lights, and adding a hard edge or two to attract the eye.
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
12x16 oil on canvas panel
subjective realist landscape paintings
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