Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Oil Painting Autumn Brilliance

Yes, it’s true. I worked on a painting this week; a “studio aire” painting to be exact.

It’s been raining and/or cloudy all week long, and fall colors are pretty much at their peak around here. Even on a cloudy, rainy day, the leaves are still brilliant enough to inspire one to paint them. I wanted to convey that in this little 8x10 inch oil on canvas board which depicts the scene outside my studio window. Hence, it was painted en studio aire.

Any season of the year, I never tire of this scene overlooking the lake and the far shore. It constantly changes, and on this day the rain varied from gently falling to coming down in sheets of gray. At times the lake was still with the brilliant trees reflected in the dark water, and then the wind would come up and kiss the water which partially hid the yellows, oranges and reds of the trees.

The image above represents about two and a half hours of work; a small accomplishment in itself for someone who is not used to painting alla prima or painting quickly. After mixing and laying on a first layer of gray, I next drew the composition and laid on an initial layer of local colors, intending that they would blend somewhat with the gray which would tone them down a little. After that, I painted the water and began detailing the trees and shore starting on the left, toning down the colors even more. I only got as far as the middle before time ran out, and haven’t had a chance to get back to finish it yet.

Admittedly, it looks pretty crude and amateurish right now. The shoreline goes uphill, and the rippled area doesn’t look natural. Maybe another painting session will improve it, but if not, that’s okay too. The important thing is that I painted. And, it’s been a while since I did that.