Monday, June 22, 2015

Impressionist landscape step-by-step photos

Today in my studio I’m continuing work on a commissioned painting that has to remain top secret for a little while longer, so in the meantime I thought I’d share a few step-by-step photos for this impressionistic Louisiana landscape painting.

Oh, and a little reminder: 
the auction for this one ends TONIGHT, 
so if you’re interested you might want to check it out!


Lingering Light  © 2015 Karen Mathison Schmidt
12 x 16 x 1½ inches • oil on 1.5" deep cradled GessobordTM
private collection • Wilmington, North Carolina

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And here are my progress photos:

The reference photo, which I took 
on an evening walk through the pasture.

1. I started without a sketch on this one. In the acrylic underpainting, I just loosely blocked in the placement of the sunny areas and the central tree. And just the merest suggestion of the placement of the purplish plants which run across the center of the foreground. My colors here are phthalo blue, cadmium yellow light, naphthol red and quinacrodone fuchsia. I kept them transparent by mixing with Liquitex acrylic matte medium.

 2. Here I added a glaze of vermilion to the lower sunny area. I just love that vivid orange which was the result!

 3. After the underpainting was good and dry (about 15-20 minutes) I switched to the oil paints, defining the horizon line and the three main trees. Using my titanium white, I started mapping out where the sunlight would be showing through the branches and leaves. I love defining trees this way, by painting in the negative areas. Using a viridian and white mixture, I roughly drew in the shape of the shadow of that central tree, and the shape of the sunlit grassy area on either side of it. With ultramarine and white mixture, I used some fun calligraphic strokes to start defining the stalks of the plants in the foreground. 

4. More definition of distant woods, keeping the areas immediately surrounding that intense sunlight warm, and working my way out to cooler hues toward the far edges of the painting. You can see that I left a good bit of the blue underpainting showing through at the left side of the center tree, and below center all across the painting.

5. Here in the finished painting you can see how the texture of the grasses in the foreground is barely suggested, and a few spare strokes of orange straying diagonally down left help carry that shaft of sunlight down into the foreground. And finally, adding just a FEW pinpoints of bright, pure color helps to convey that late afternoon sparkle of sunlight glinting off various surfaces.

Happy painting


Annika Feiteira said...

Karen, This one is just beautiful! I love that glowing sun through the trees. As always, I appreciate being able to see your step by step process. Thank you for sharing it.

Dr Peggy said...

I'm amazed at the generosity you show by sharing your step by step process. I'm learning so much from your blog. Thank you and may God bless you for it!!

Karen M Schmidt said...

Thank you both for your encouraging comments! I'm glad you find value in the step-by-steps; I always enjoy seeing other artists' process photos, so I thought there might be others out there who would enjoy mine :)

Al Allemond said...

Your talents are a gift from God and your generosity is immense. There are many artists who would never share their step-by-step process. Thank you from a fellow Louisiana Artist.