Saturday, August 24, 2013

Autumn on the Canal, step 7

I worked my way into the foreground, basically just refining areas. The reddish tree I made a little brighter and a little shorter and on the far right I added a deep shadow which I felt the painting needed for balance.  In the foreground grass, I added a few highlights and shadows to define the area more.

Where I accentuated some of the trees, I painted corresponding reflections in the water near the towpath.

As the painting nears completion, I am debating about whether to add some people in the far distance. In my source photo, there are two cyclists in the distance who may be candidates. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Autumn on the Canal, step 6

I began with the sky again, defining the shape of the cloud and adding sky holes to shape the trees. I fondly remember an instructor one time saying that the trees should allow the birds to fly through. I refined the very distant trees, that are not really that vibrant blue.  I'm using my regular Nikon but still that blue is disturbing. I use a mixture of permanent madder deep (alizarin crimson), phthalo green, and white to make the color.  Perhaps its the phthalo green pigment that is throwing off the camera.
Then I made the sun come out on the background trees differentiating each tree allowing a nice contrast with the trees on the left.  I lightened the grass at the very back o really pop the light value.
On the left, I worked into the trees to suggest where one ended and the next one began.  The entire focus of this painting is to convert a July scene into an autumn scene with the gorgeous colors of that season.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Autumn on the Canal, step 5

I finished up the first color layer by painting in the reflections.  I lowered the tree line in the far distance to allow more sky. I felt it was important to have some sky reflections in the water to add interest and break of the area. 

To paint the reflections I used vertical strokes and then added a few horizontal blending strokes to suggest the movement of the water. 

The next steps will be refining what I have done to bring it up as close to a finish as possible. There are probably many parts of this painting that are finished. There are also parts that need work.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Autumn on the Canal, step 4

This picture I took with my Nikon and you can see the difference in the colors from the photos taken with my cell phone camera.  These are much more accurate.

I moved into painting the foreground adding the towpath and grasses along it.  Keeping the colors warm with bits of orange and burnt sienna is important to keep the overall tone of the painting in an autumn flavor.  I am particularly fond of fall colors with all their variations and warmth.

The shadows on the towpath are painted with a combination of cadmium orange and a mid-value blue-violet. The light on the towpath is a tint of cadmium orange. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Autumn on the Canal, step 3

This photo I also took with my cell phone and the colors, especially the shadows in the trees are much bluer and brighter than in reality. It's very misleading. Sorry.

I began painting the trees on the right that are catching the light. I used slightly different colors suggesting the brilliant autumn foliage: variations of burnt sienna, yellow ochre, cadmium red light, cadmium orange and my premixed greens. I add the blue-violet mixture to the shadows. (Fomulas for the greens and blue-violets are in my book shown at right, Secrets to Composition, as well as my painting procedures.)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Autumn on the Canal, step 2

I began painting the sky using a warm white for the cloud and  combinations of pale ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, and phthalo green for the sky, carving out some starter sky holes to shape the trees. Then I moved on to the tops of the back trees with a darker bluish color. Moving forward I added bits of yellows and oranges to the mixtures to suggest more background trees. I added blue-violet to the shadows to make them recede.

I took this picture with my cell phone which shows the shadow colors under the trees much brighter blue than in reality. 

Along the edge of the canal, which will be my focal point, I added tints of orange and yellow ochre.

On the left shadow trees, I used lots of blue-violet added to greens, burnt sienna and cadmium red for the different trees. I want to make each tree a slightly different color, since the original scene is full of July greens.  These dark greens will contrast with the focal area of the canal lights.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Autumn on the Canal, step 1

Since three artists and myself will be having an exhibit at Bucks County Gallery of Fine Art in New Hope, PA in October, I wanted to have some local scenes. 
I went there for a couple of days to gather resource material for paintings in the Bucks County area.  I did several plein air sketches and some photography where sketches weren't possible.
The Delaware Canal runs approximately parallel to the Delaware River as it wends it way between New Hope and Lambertville, NJ.  I was excited by the light hitting the far end of the towpath where it turns behind the trees on the left. This will be a great painting for the exhibit, once I change all the July greens into October fall colors.
 I will be demonstrating this painting here on my blog, and this is the burnt umber underpainting to establish my values..  I am working on Belgium linen, which I prepared and then toned with a warm gray.