Another landscape, another limited palette. For this painting I used ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, burnt umber, sap and cobalt greens, a splash of raw sienna. 9×12 Fabirano Artistico.
I wanted to see if I could convey a good sense of depth, moving from the foreground with warmer colors to the distance with more neutral and greyish colors. Contrast, too, was considered for eye appeal, leading lines, depth.
If you look at the grasses in the foreground, you can see grass blades. I used a very dry flat brush to accomplish this, sometimes using a lighter green and brushing upward, or darker green to brush into the lighter green. Negative painting!
Negative painting is easy in concept – paint dark paint around a lighter object – but hard (for me at least) to put into practice. You can see what I mean above – the light trunks are depicted by darker colors painted on either side of them.
The one above is the simplest, and nicest. In the upper flowers, I found myself shaping the orange of the Peruvian Lily into the yellow above it to create the shape of the flower. The same with the darker colors against lighter ones.
Below, a gallery of what I did the other morning – most are rubbish, but the concept is what I was working on, not producing a beautiful painting for all to enjoy!
Painting requires practice, as does anything you wish to master. It can be rewarding and frustrating as hell. The key is to be aware that progress is made with each step, even if you don’t see it or feel it. It oozes into your brain and muscle memory.
Ooze, ooze, ooze.
We have had a lot of rain this year in California, and throughout both ends of the state. North and south. As a result, the hills are a brilliant lime green, and when the sun hits just right, it’s hard to believe our once beige state has blossomed into such beauty. The wildflower bloom is beginning, from the desert to the high Sierra. Cacti, poppies, lupines, and so many other flowers await our eager eyes.
Well, it is winter, so snow shows up for some reason. New snow is so nice – but old snow is dreary, especially as winter begins to lose the charm it had at Christmas! Slushy, mushy, grey, dirty, muddy.
I decided to make up a scene – with buildings both wooden and brick, with telephone poles, and the grey mist of a city beyond. As a painting by itself, it’s a failure, but adding a few lines helped it out a bit. People will appear when the weather clears . . .
Today was a day of “firsts.” I decided to paint a big painting for me – 16×20 inches. I also chose to use a more professional paper than I have been; here, 140# cold press Arches.
I wanted to test out how Arches handles water – lots of water. Hannema is the master of the wash and wet paper approach. His current paper is Saunders Waterford, which is different, of course, from Arches. I think the Arches handled the water really well. I, on the other hand, still need to master my washes. Blooms are visible here and there, and I need to learn how to control those or eliminate them if I find them later on.
The palette of colors I used was initially what Hannema used: ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, burnt sienna, and raw sienna. Because I did not like greens I was getting, I threw in some sap green. If I had used yellow ochre, perhaps my greens would have been more satisfactory – something to make a mental note of to try next time around.
I always learn from a video. As I have mentioned, water is one thing I am working on, along with buildings. Today, I wanted to just work with a new paper and a lot of water. The study was successful altogether methinks.
Below is Edo Hannema’s painting tutorial:
Another building! This time the simple composition helped – not a lot of corners.
For the palm tree, I used a dagger brush. I also used it for the building and the grass. I’ve never used one before, but thought it would be perfect for the fronds. A lot of fun can be had with this brush – glad I added it to my brush collection.
Flat land is like a calm sea. Few things break it up – perhaps a tree or a whale breeching. It is a challenge to compress the lines of the landscape into the narrow space seen to convey depth, space, and a sense of the land’s geography. The vast sky can dominate.