In The Studio: Number 60 of 90 Paintings in 90 Days, “Alaska”

In today’s painting I am painting a big vista with a strong focus on sun and shadows, shadows on the building, shadows in the field, and shadows on the mountain tops.  In order to have a successful painting emphasizing shadows you have to plan the painting or you will be struggling at the end trying to get something to work.  Plan your light colors like the green on the building to the right they have to be light enough to read against the shadows.  The crisp shadows up on the mountains is really a tight little touch of cool violet greys and I painted each piece with a really small round brush softening the edges as I went along.  Preserve the lights and you will have a good go at this painting.Notice that when I ran the blue and yellow washes I kept the white paper as pure as possible, I wet the paper with a natural sponge and then took the excess water off with the sponge.  This gives us a nice surface to paint on.Using the side of a round brush, paint a darker blue green over top of the yellow wash remember to strive for lots of variety here really bounce between warm and cool, light and dark greens.  This is pretty easy if you go between cobalt and ultramarine blue and new gamboge and hansa yellow.  Just think of variety and try not to use the same color for more than about inch and all will work out.Paint the distant mountains on the shadow side only leave white paper towards the sun.  I used a number 8 round loaded with cobalt blue, cobalt violet and burnt sienna doing one little piece at a time.  Darken the greens with less water more pigment and keep thinking variety in the colors and details.Paint the building keeping them light enough to work against the shadows,  whatever color you use for the light portions of the buildings the shadows will be a darker version of the color, not some black purple splotch.Wet the bottom of the paper and lightly brush in colors that reflect the rocks, pilings and some of the trees.  Make sure to keep the sky reflected by leaving lights.  Don’t get too fussy just a hint of the objects being reflected, the color is important not the details.

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  • Mike FlynnMarch 13, 2013 - 7:40 pm

    Great coolness in sky and mountains with warmth in trees and foreground. Makes me want to start now !ReplyCancel

  • Kate martinMarch 14, 2013 - 12:55 am

    keep it up Steve, what about 365 paintings in 365 days! 😉ReplyCancel

  • MercedesMarch 28, 2014 - 3:19 pm

    You have got your goal of sunlight contrasting with the shadows. I thank your explain to us about how it was done.ReplyCancel