Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Step-by-Step Ozark Creek Scene


In May I did several small studies at Femme Osage Creek, two which included this impressive sycamore.  I also took photos for future reference which is what this painting is based on. I grew up swimming, fishing and floating clear streams like this one. After a spring filled with plein air painting it was nice to come back to the studio for this one.

I started by tinting a 16"x 16" canvas a cool and warm yellow and then knocked it back with a paper towel. I then did my underdrawing in brown with a #8 flat. I don't normally do such detailed starts but the root system was very complex and the whole painting depends on it.

 I then layed in all of my midtone shadows, covering up most of my initial drawing. I could still see it well enough to proceed. I saved the highlights on the roots.

At this point I restated all my accent shadows, this time much darker. I then took the tree to near completion and added the highlight through the trees. This gave me a complete value range.

After that it was just going around the painting taking each area to the level of detail desired while trying not to overwork it. 

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