Sunday, March 2, 2008

Harper's Ferry, step 1

The burnt umber sketch and color lay-in

Last fall I painted a 12 x 16 color sketch at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers at Harper's Ferry. Below are two reference photos and the color sketch.




I enlarged the sketch by gridding it into quarters and transferring it onto a 22 x 28 canvas, prepared with rabbit skin glue and acrylic gesso. Since the burnt umber sketch didn't take very long, I started on the sky and some of the water. I used a reference photo from another scene as a guide for the clouds. See below.


I have sketched a rocky overlook in the lower right hand corner so that my high vantage point makes sense. I like the way it ties in with the rocks below. I have also modified the trees in the middle-ground by varying their shapes and adding trunks and limbs. The green nerf-ball tree looks ridiculous. Other than those two things, the painting will be about the same as the sketch, only larger with more detail.

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