January 13, 2009

Shadow patterns and beginning new painting

I wanted to post images of the first few steps in my painting process. My landscapes begin with a visit to some destination where I spend quite a bit of time if not sketching, at least observing and photographing the scene. Once I chose a an image for painting I do some compositional sketches in my notebook. Next comes a charcoal drawing on the canvas. Charcoal is particularly useful because it can easily be wiped off and reapplied as needed . Once a basic drawing is down the umber layer comes next. I like using raw umber for this monochromatic stage. It's a great neutral and dries quickly. When this layer is dry I can begin to build up color. I'll post images of this as they are ready.

This painting has been in progress for a number of months now. I have numerous canvas going at one time to keep my interest fresh and my eyes! Shadow shapes describe the surface of the forms they fall on. In other words if the shadow falls across a bumpy dirt road then the edges of the shadow should not be straight but bumpy. So I am going to look at all of the shadow shapes in this painting and make sure they do this. This painting is at about 2/3rds of the way to finish. I'm satisfied with the progress so far and am anxious to see how it turns out.

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