Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Behind the Scenes

This is a reference photo of Gregory Vineyards that I want to paint. First of all, I like the composition and second, I'm going to have a one man show there on April 22 from 2 p.m. till 8 p.m. I will have this painting and other framed originals there to purchase and multiple prints of originals also.

 First, I quickly sketch in reference guide lines for the building with a charcoal pencil. Notice the guide lines are where certain points, horizontal, diagonal and lateral, occur in in the reference photo. For composition purposes, I did not center the main subject.

Next I sketch in the building using my guidelines. I adjust as I need to. This is a reference sketch so the final adjustment can be made when I do the actual painting.

Next I lay in the color of the sky and foreground with a thin wash of paint mixed with linseed oil.. My (go to) paints are Windsor Newton Griffin Alkyd. I love the consistency and they are fast drying. I may thin with linseed oil or walnut oil, depending which one I have on hand. I also may add a minute amount of Windsor Newton Lyquin to speed drying even more. I like to completely cover the canvas so that I can easily see the hues for color composition.
Next I put in the darks and shadows. It helps sometime to look at the subject or reference photo and squint your eyes and you will easily see the dark shadows. If you notice in the photo that the sun is at the 11 o'clock position. I also am making the paint thicker at this point. I try to paint thick over thin as a general rule.

 Next, I paint in the mid tones in the foreground and the building. Notice I darkened the trees as well so the lighter hues of the building stands out in the finished painting. I also did not blend the foreground

  Finally, I added detail and highlights. If you notice, the extreme foreground the leaves are biggest, then as the grapevines recede into the background they get smaller. I also added some grapes to break up the greenish foreground. I then did some negative painting with a darker hue to bring out some foreground leaves. I purposely did not go to  the extremes on the highlights because I wanted the entire painting to appear softer. For that reason also I did not add clouds in the sky. I just wanted the Gregory Vineyards Building to be the focal point. I then signed it and called it finished. The reason I say that ,is because, as an artist, the hardest thing to do is to know when to quit. I hope you enjoyed this. If you did please feel free to subscribe to this blog. I will have more "Behind the scenes" periodically.
Gregory Vineyards