Friday, November 14, 2014

Painting Late Afternoon Light

Here are a few step by step comments on a recent painting titled "Saluda - Last Light". 

I began with a 9x12" Masonite board primed with Gesso. I toned the board with a thin coat of Ultramarine Blue applied by simply wetting the board slightly with a mist bottle and then squirting the paint from the tube directly onto the board and wiping it around the entire surface. Most often I tone my boards with Burnt Sienna to give me a warm tone but in this case with the disappearing evening light I wanted to give an overall look of very cool tones. This would in the final piece give more emphasis to the warm tones by contrast.

I drew the basic shapes of the building with a brush and then began adding the dark using only transparent colors. If I were to use opaque colors at this point they would begin to cover the blue areas and not allow that blue to show through.

Here you can see some areas of the buildings and background that were painted using rather thin layers of paint allowing the Ultramarine Blue to glow through. Other areas such as the sky were painted with thicker opaque color.

I took the original photo as reference knowing it would be very dark but I wanted to capture the mood with its dimmly lit passages. I used the photo on the left primarily to work on the final painting but I also duplicated the photo and in Photoshop lightened it which gave a better look at the detail that was not evident in the original. I was careful not to take too much information from the overexposed photo as I did not want to loose the feeling of the scene by adding lots of features that were not necessary to convey the mood of the painting.

"Saluda - Last Light"
9x12" / Acrylic on board

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