Spring Bloom, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012
Last Thursday, I painted at a beautiful park in Marble Falls that had field after field of bluebonnets. It was breathtaking, really. A friend of mine took some pictures of my painting in progress and sent them to me so that I would be able to share process notes with my students. Below each image is a brief explanation of what I am thinking about as I develop the painting. Enjoy!
Here I am on location, facing my subject and blocking in the scene.
Block-In - Using a dark neutral of french ultramarine and burnt sienna,
I use a line and mass block-in technique to roughly set down the scene.
I check placement and drawing before moving on.
Dark Upright Plane and Distant Plane -
I observe the dark uprights as they recede into the distance,
and determine how they will change as they move from foreground to background.
I mass in the large shapes with the best average color and value
(and ignore all temptation to indicate detail.)
Ground plane - This is tricky because the ground plane is both receding
and very light in value, which leaves a smaller range of color to choose from.
I begin to lay in passages that will travel from foreground to background,
making value and chroma adjustments as they recede.
More Ground Plane passages...
Again, I choose the best average color and value for each passage
knowing that I will add highlights and lowlights later on.
Sky plane - I mass in the sky where the lightest lights are.
The value of the sky is a very important key to the rest of the painting.
Although I often mass in that area last, I am thinking about it the whole time.
Once all the large masses are in place and values are working correctly,
I go back in to break them up and refine them with subtle value shifts.
Final Nuances - Here is the final piece
after all the refinements have been completed.
(There was an equipment change for this last image - it was shot
at a much higher resolution which explains the higher definition.)
Many thanks to Cindy DeBold for her photos!!!