Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Attempting the impossible

Evensong II • 40 x 30 inches • oil on 2" deep cradled Museum Series GessobordTM

My goal for this large painting: 

To evoke in the viewer just one mega-zillionth of the the awe I felt 
when standing out in the pasture surrounded by this: 

I’m not sure, but I may be attempting the impossible here. 

But I sure am having a ball giving it a go!

I sketched out the composition in pencil right on the Gessobord then blocked in the trees with acrylic: Mars black mixed with burnt umber.

Side question: how come we have burnt umber and raw umber, but no cooked-to-perfection umber?

Just wondering.

Anyway, back to our progress photos.

Imagining the finished painting having a kind of “peachy” cast to it, I decide to keep the acrylic underpainting on the very cool side, to keep the finished picture from feeling too orange-y, while at the same time emphasizing the peachiness by using a complementary tone beneath.

I don’t know if that makes sense or not, but it did in my head at the time. We’ll see if it works.

Here’s the finished underpainting, using only Prussian blue, phthalo blue and quinacrodone magenta glazes over the black/umber trees. I know I’ve said this before, but I love the watercolor-y feel of this stage.

After the underpainting is dry, I squeeze my oils onto my palette and jump right into that luscious sky.

The palette I’ve chosen for this painting:

Old Holland neutral tint (I use this like Payne’s gray, but it’s not quite as bluish)
Bright violet
Dioxazine mauve (similar to diox purple)
French ultramarine
Cerulean blue
Phthalo blue
Turquoise light

Note: more blues and purples than I usually use in one painting, but I wanted all the subtle choices for this large composition. 

Hooker’s green lake deep extra
Sheveningen yellow light (similar to cadmium yellow light but nontoxic)
Naples yellow
Shev yellow deep (again, similar to cadmium yellow deep)
Vermilion extra
Rose dore madder lake antique extra (officially the longest name of any color in my box -- 
oh, and by the way: LOVE this rosy red!)
Alizarin crimson lake extra
Persian (Indian) red
Burnt sienna
Yellow ochre
Burnt umber
Raw umber
Cooked-to-perfection umber
Titanium white

Cooked-to-perfection umber? Ha! I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

 I love watching the trees take shape as I paint in the negative spaces between the branches.

Good night, painting, I’ll see you in the morning!

1 comment:

Alan said...

I thought you mixed burnt umber with raw umber to get cooked to perfection umber. By the way, what is umber and what does it taste like? ...Chicken?