Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Selecting Background Colors

The initial layers literally set the tone for your paintings, even if when starting from a white surface. Imagine this canvas covered in bright red paint with purple outlines. The direction would be very different, with a vibrant palette and radiant energy.
Here is a basic wash of Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber outline. The concept is to create a peaceful and realistic landscape using oils.
If you start with a medium to dark tinted base coat, it is easier to distinguish values. Additionally, subtle values will automatically develop from the layering process and thickness of paint. Depending upon the amount of drying time and medium used, colors may blend. I normally allow the areas to dry overnight or longer in between sessions.
In this stage, I chose various shades of purple, green, and brown. 
Next, I placed small amounts of golden yellow along the canyon walls of both sides. Most yellow paints have transparent qualities, so if you apply too much, you can normally wipe it off when the previous coats are dry. Pure white streaks of paint were added to the top portion of the waterfall. Distant trees are lighter, shorter, and less defined than foreground trees.

Lower Falls Reverie
Available 20x16 Oil on Canvas
This is the method of painting that I use with most of my work. It is a slow process of building layers, adding and subtracting color, and attempting to emphasize the focal point. There are certainly more direct ways to accomplish the same result!
Yellowstone is my favorite of the American national parks. There is something new around every corner. The wildlife and scenery are a nature lover's paradise. If you ever have the opportunity to go, be sure to set aside at least a few days to explore. Visit the Mammoth Hot Springs, three waterfalls, and of course, Old Faithful. You will see bison and elk roaming free. And the hot springs resemble liquid gemstones of brilliant emerald and turquoise colors....
It is the most magnificent and diverse landscape. No wonder millions of people flock to the park each year. 
Thanks for reading and commenting ~ Eve

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