After getting back from our annual fishing trip and letting the dust settle, I found an image I wanted to paint. The photo reference is from 2009 and I keep going back to it. For some reason it interests me. It was the end of October and after a bit of snow had fallen and mostly melted.
The image as it is, is a bit complex and busy. So, I did a thumbnail of it, simplifying the trees.
I liked that design so I transferred the drawing and got the underpainting started. After a few layers of underpainting, I started to paint the sky in negatively.
At this point, I wanted to look at the painting and decide where it needed to go next. But looking at the painting itself doesn’t always allow the analytical side of your brain to work best. And this painting is too large to hold up to a mirror. So, I photographed the painting and brought the image up on my monitor. It is very helpful to see the painting on the monitor. It allows your brain to see it in a different context - almost like you have never seen it before. I made note of a number of changes I needed to make. I am starting to see where the streak of light is coming in. It is almost time to paint that! I am also seeing an X in the middle ground birches that has to go!
I got some work done on it but life intervened and progress was slow. The paint on the Sta-wet palette was starting to deteriorate. I finally had to throw out the paint, paper and sponge. I take pride in getting a good 3 months out of a sponge but when you just let the paint sit and not open the palette for days and days, such is the result.
I felt better getting fresh paint out and made some nice progress on the painting. I did quite a bit of work introducing cool greens on the left and develop that foliage. I also did some work on the foreground. There are little things here and there that I made a list of.
The final result is at the top of the blog. Here is a slide show with the various stages of development:
The Okanagan provides inspiration wherever you look. I enjoy both painting on location and working in my studio. For more information contact me at email@example.com