One More Underpainting

Into the woods (3)IMG_7703

This will be my final example for now of how useful a more detailed Underpainting can be. This is another wooded scene where my trees could easily have all gotten lost or run together as I went along. By having my Underpainting sort of map out my values, it was much easier to keep track of where my trees were separated. This also was helpful for me to see whrere it was important to perhaps place a darker tree next to a lighter one in order to distinguish it or make it more focal. It really is nice to be able to play around with your composition and value at this point before you have invested too much time. For me, it is invaluable when the painting has much detail.

Detailed Underpainting

Maine woods (3)Maine Woods


This is an example of a two tone Underpainting where it was extremely necessary. I felt like there would be no way for me to keep track of my distant trees without a basic guide layer down first. This gave me a clear idea of my values before I started and also acted like a map for me to keep from having my trees get lost in the forest (so to speak).  You can see that an Underpainting can be quite vague or extremely detailed. It is very interesting to play around with.

Sunny Bend

Auke Rec PointI continue to find trees extremely challenging yet I am seeing progress. It is a challenge to know where to begin some of these pictures of the woods, but I felt like I at least had some direction this time. I still feel like this could be improved on if I did it again, but I’m happy with it for now. I’m still feeling a strong attraction for painting woodland scenes and especially trees themselves, in fact I found a guy that paints ‘tree portraits’ yesterday on Pintrest. His name is David Langevin. His stuff is amazing. It may be a similar direction I’d like to go in eventually. You can check out his work on Just search his name.

Repeat, Repeat

Woodland PathThis is a little 5×7 painting. It is the second time that I have done this picture.I believe that it is much cleaner and much less overworked as well.  I must say that I don’t generally enjoy doing a picture more than once, but I am learning the value of doing so.  The first time I did this, it was quite a struggle to capture the sunny light. But this time it took less than half the time. It was a real pleasure to work on!     From now on I am going to make it a practice to do certain paintings more than once, and even in different colors or value patterns. I think it will increase my learning significantly.

Winter Damage

Winter damageThis is another effort to employ the looser style of painting that I like so much. I really tried to go about this in a more reckless abandon fashion. I did not want to be fussy with detail but wanted to focus on the larger value differences. About mid way through I almost tossed it, but in the end I think it came out rather well.

6 Minis

6 minisThis is a collection of 4×4 paintings that I did this week. They are copies of larger paintings by a friend who’s work I particularly like. His brush strokes are quick and sketchy and his paint is quite thick and textural. Another thing I like about it is his color choices. He uses a few different colors than I was using and I enjoyed adding these to my pallet. (the new ones were sap green, cad orange light, and yellow ochre)

I really enjoyed these little studies. I got a feel for the look and light, as well as a bit more texture. I think this was very helpful.

Quick Study?

TrailerCan you guess which of these took 15-20 minutes, and which one took almost a full day? Well, I wanted to do this to prove that a painting can be done quickly and effectively. In this I wanted to capture the essence of the scene; like the light vs. darks and the general layout, and perhaps notes of color. The larger one took most of a day. It really is not that much more detailed than the other. They both capture the scene. I  could work on the smaller one more, but this is all I needed it to tell me right now. I think this is a very valuable skill to learn well. I will be doing much more of this quickk study to see what I can do with it. I would not consider the larger one a complete painting, but I was at a point of overworking it and decided I had messed with it enough. I will try it again another day.