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Evolution of a painting

My painting process, especially if it is a representational painting (one where you recognize the subject), usually involves a series of light washes (often many of them) to create a painting with real depth and intensity.  And there are many adjustments along the way as the painting speaks to me and tells me what it needs.

I spent the recent Christmas holidays visiting my brother in Cooperstown in upstate New York. I described my visit and showed two of my quick sketches in my previous blog.  It’s taken me this long to create a painting from one of those sketches.

This was the initial wash:

Winter v1

Winter v1

You can see the light pencil sketch — not very detailed — and the preliminary light washes, blue for the snow shadows and sky and blue-green for the trees and far mountains.

Winter v2

Winter v2

Here I’ve left the sky and snow shadows alone and focussed on the trees and distant mountain.

Winter v3

Winter v3

Here I’ve added some of the tree trunks and started to indicate the tree branches.

Lots still to do:  make the far trees stand out from the further mountains, continue to define the midground trees and, most importantly, expand the snow shadows. Finally, I added purple to the trees and shadows in spots and then the occasional stroke of red. The last thing, even after I put my name at the bottom, was to add the two hawks cruising in the far sky.

So here is the final painting: Cooperstown Winter.

Cooperstown Winter

Cooperstown Winter

It really does convey the isolation and beauty of winter in Cooperstown.

Posted by ruthhurd on February 11, 2014

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