Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tomales Bay Tangents: The Process

I set up my camera on a tripod, and snapped a photo every 10-20 minutes, or so, to capture my painting process.  This is something I would like to do on a regular basis, and I would love to hear from you, if you find it interesting or helpful.  I first lightly sketched the composition, which you can't see too well here, and then began just laying some color, starting from the distance, forward.  I have typically done most of my landscapes in this same way.
Not only do I begin with the distant portion of the landscape, but also with the color that will be the under-painting. 

Just blocking in more color to define the composition, and to get some of the deeper shades, in the foreground.  I also have added the highlights on the hills in the distance, to give them their shape, and have added the darks for the group of trees sitting on the point.  I added a mid value gold to the bushes on the hill.

Here I went back to the hillside and cliff in the background, and began adding more layers of pastel on top, to define the give definition to the rocks, bushes and grass. 

Just more definition on the rocky cliff, and hillside, and I am beginning to define the water's edge, and the reflection in the water beneath the cliff.

I have begun to add more color to the middle ground, and am continuing to add more detail to the hillside.

Have added texture and middle range values to the grasses in the middle ground.

I have added the deeper values of green and blue for the pools of water in the foreground, while I am defining the various, random shapes of grass and land in between.

More color and definition of the water and grass in the foreground.  I loved capturing the colors in this water, from deep blues and  greens, to teal and even purple!  This stage is just adding detail and cleaning up the little spots of paper still showing through (I didn't want to touch the pastel too much with my fingers - it mixed the under-layers together too much - so I used a tortillon, which is a tightly rolled piece of paper, with a pointed tip)  I actually left some of those places showing through, which look like sparkles on the water.  I also begin adding the faint shadow in front of many of the little grass clumps, which defines their shape, and makes them pop out.

Adding more highlights and small details to the grasses and clumps of earth in the middle and foreground.

Foreground rivulet, and some of the little pools get just a tad lighter.

Tomales Bay Tangents 14x20 on UART sanded pastel paper - Completed!  Questions or Comments?  Send me an email.

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