This is another 10×8 oil of Mendenhall Glacier. I love this view from a large stream up the road as you approach the Glacier. There is often fog here and sometimes you can only catch a glimpse of the glacier itself, but it is very interesting to me when it is like this. There are always wonderful reflections in the areas of water around the glacier and this is one in particular that I like because of all the dead trees in the water, giving it a nice textural quality. As a note though, I find these trees extremely difficult to paint. I have found them very challenging. So in order to overcome this, I will be painting them quite a lot for practice ( =
I thought I would show another example of an Underpainting, because when I first started painting I couldn’t get enough information about the different ways that people choose to paint. I enjoy seeing how other people paint…it gives me ideas and may lead to better things. It’s good for us to know that there is not just one way to do things. Rather there are a vast number of ways to do the same thing! I think this is very helpful to know. Actually, I think this little painting is the very first time that I tried doing an Underpainting. You can see just how much detail I included in the early stages.
I’m sure this may be old news to many people, but I can remember how fascinated that I was with it early on. So I wanted to do a few posts to show any beginners how they might try it.
This is one example of how I used the underpainting process. The detail in this particular picture probably didn’t warrant the need but I was still experimenting with it at this point. But you can clearly see how helpful it is to see the value in a two toned painting. And I must say again, that at this stage, it is really easy to adjust something that may look a bit off. This layer of paint should be very loose and thinned down with turp or mineral spirits. You don’t need to add white to your burnt sienna, you just thin it down a bit more. It is also very easy to wipe something off and redo it. If nothing else, I find this quite fun to play around with because you can move the paint so easily.
This is a 6×6 painting, and it is the first painting that I have done on Gesso board. I have been wanting to try this since my first post. I read in Carol Marine’s book that she uses it and likes it. There are several artists whose paintings have a smooth flowing brush stroke style and I have been unable to get that in my paintings. It seems like they must either use gesso board or a smoother canvas than I do. To save on cost, I have given into using an inexpensive canvas board most of the time for these small practice pieces. But it does not help to practice what doesn’t work for you. I need to begin either using Gesso board or prepping my canvas in a different way to create a smoother finish. I have recently found another brand of canvas board that is not too expensive and does have a wonderful smooth coating. (the brand is Art Advantage) I cannot get it here in Juneau, and shipping is always expensive to Alaska so I have not used it on a regular basis. But I am beginning to think I should. I will have to get a bunch when I travel back to Maine next month.
Anyway, I did enjoy the Gesso board. It is a little tricky to learn a lighter touch with the brush so you don’t pull paint off with a second stroke, but I especially like that the brush strokes remain visible. This is merely a preference, and many people do not like this look. I do look forward to playing around with it more.
This is a little 5×7 that just looked like a challenge with all the foliage and the upside down reflections. You can almost turn it upside down to display it as well. ( = I am finding that greens can be a challenge, especially when there are so many different shades in one painting. This is probably another thing I could practice…the many different greens.