Garden Portal, L. Daniel, 8 x 8, SOLD
Yesterday my plein air class started. It's a little bit early yet as spring is just beginning to make an appearance here; so finding this lovely green spot on the grounds of Laguna Gloria felt like a huge gift. This piece is the finished demo from class and below is an incremental record of the process. I actually painted the ones below ahead of time for easy reference, and promised to post them here for my students. Hope it's helpful!
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"Garden Portal" - Landscape Demo
(images below are 6 x 6)
1) Line and mass block-in
Using Burnt Sienna and French Ultramarine, I blocked in simple shapes and values. This dark underpainting established my composition, laid the foundation for my darkest darks, and gave me an overall map of where I was going. A big step back before moving on helped make sure the composition was working.
2) Shadow family in uprights
Working dark to light, I painted the relatively darker areas of all the verticals in the upright plane. It's important to constantly compare one to another as all color is relative. Notice that the large, simple masses have no detail - this is very important. At this point in the painting, establishing temperature and value are the main goal. Save details for the end.
3) Light family in the uprights
Staying in the upright plane, I laid in the sunlit areas of my subject and began to break up the large masses with small value shifts. I purposely chose to work out all of the color and value relationships in the upright planes first. Once I got those working together, I knew where I needed to go with the sky and ground planes.
4) Sky and Ground planes, plus final touches
I saved the sky and ground planes until the end so that the other values could help me determine how light I would need to go. Since the sun is in the sky, that will most often be the lightest plane in any painting. The ground reflects the sky and is the next lightest plane (thank you, John Carlson). I also went through and broke up the masses a little bit more, being careful not to overdo it. The highest highlights are the final touches saved till the very end. Yes, delayed gratification, but totally worth the wait.