"A Walk Along The River"
24x30 oil on linen panel
I was recently commissioned to do this painting of the St Croix at the boat launch on the WI side of the Interstate Park, a place I have painted frequently in the past in all seasons. On this painting I used my field study that I painted a few years back. I've had many opportunities to sell this particular piece but there are some paintings that are much more valuable to keep. I've ended up using this study for many larger versions of this place, each painting always ends up having a life of it's own.
In the beginning stage of each making a painting, I think it's crucial to have first a good concept and second a good composition of strong shapes that support the idea or concept.
Here I show my 'wash' of my composition using transparent oxide red and mineral spirits, there might be a little ultra marine adding in the cast shadows along the shore. . . . . .
. . .developing my darks a bit more. . .
at this point in the painting I like to start working in large masses
There gets to be a point that once you get a mass massed in, you really need to work into another mass connected to the one you were working on for relativeness. I do not ever finish an area entirely until I have the shapes at least massed in since they are all relative, especially when you are working on subtlety. In my masses I'm always thinking of developing the form of the shapes.
Time to get the sky started. I usually start with a cooler pool of color like in the image above and then mix a pool of warmer color to break in on top of the cool. It helps to create vibration in an area.
My study is to the right. I 'use' my studies for information, I don't copy them. I wanted the large piece to be softer and warmer than the study was.
Cast shadows are starting to appear on the shore line. I usually spend quite a bit of time working on the design of these. I always think of the fact that shadows tell the tale of form.
One of my favorite parts of painting the banks of the St Croix is the sweep of the shore line and the warm rich color of the sand when it's sun lit. Here I started getting that in along with the water. The St Croix has a unique color due to the Tamarack roots up north affecting the color of the water. It's warm and rich colored like root beer. I don't ever use any white in these areas as it would cool the color too much. I use yellow to lighten it if I need and try and stick with transparent colors such as transparent oxide, ultra marine, and aliz and thin it with mineral spirits.
here comes the wind sheer and sky reflections
at this stage the little subtle exceptions come in.
Note the color of the finish piece and this last one are a bit off. I'm working on color with my new computer, it's actually somewhere in between the two but you get the idea. . .:)