1) Laying in some ground work. I find that having a warm tonality to the ground work for a final image with a cooler tonality really helps with my color choices. A cool ground can work for a warm toned painting as well.
Sometimes I like to place opposite colors down too. It helps me in judging Hue relationships as well. For example, Green grass try a red ground or a blue sky try an orange or yellow.
Getting started is probably the most challenging part. I think a lot about how to start a painting. It dictates the direction of your work a lot. I know it doesn't look like anything but I've got the most basic breakdown of large shapes in this step.
2) Blocking in color. Getting in some darks and lights. General idea of color for large areas. Picking at warms and cools here and there. Keeping it really general.
3) Working from background to foreground now. Sometimes it works to do the foreground first then the background. It mostly depends on your subject. Doing the foreground can work by establishing your value contrast and then you'll know everything else behind it will have less contrast. For this though, I wanted to make sure the tree looked like it is in front of the sky.
4) The Sky is almost there. Adding some more definition of light and shadow to the tree. Making some touches to the foreground bushes.
5) blocking in some more color to the bushes. Making some decisions as to how they will lay out.
6) Adding some more color and texture. Using some dry brushing and my favorite tool, the palette knife.
7) Making my shapes of color look like the objects they represent. Compositionally, I make some of the bush branches point towards the focal point which is the tree.
8) Adding in the tree branches and sky holes. Sky holes are typically darker than the sky surrounding the tree.
9) Making the tree look fuller and defining the mountains. Making some touch ups and it's almost set!
Finished Painting- signed in lower right. Let it dry, frame it, and ship it out to be hung in a gallery.
I had done this one a couple years ago. Came across it while looking through my stash of artwork and thought that it still had some potential, so I worked on it some more, adding color and changing some things to make it better than what it was.
Doing this actually isn't unusual for me. I'll pick up a painting I've started maybe a few weeks ago and finish it a while later quite often. Sometimes doing a painting in one sitting isn't always enough.
Me and Karen at the beginning of the trail. The trail starts out at Monarch Lake which is a beautiful start!
One of the first falls we saw on the way up.
Cascade Trail had these fantastic falls all up the hike
Me and our Friend Mike. Mike's very experienced in backpacking and for me and Karens' first time backpacking we learned a lot. I learned that I need to get a lighter paint box!
One of the views as we got closer to camp
Karen, rocking it up the mountain
Our campsite was surrounded by Mountain Peaks!
Mountain Peak above Crater Lake
"Crater Lake Patterns" Oil 10" by 12"
Sketch I did up on Crater Lake before we packed up to head back. My goal for this one was to get a simplified look just getting the basics in. The Mosquitoes were swarming me when I started this painting. After about 30 min they went away- I think after they got their fill of me!
I would love to go back to this area and spend another day to explore more. There were so many beautiful views all around our campsite. Backpacking was rough at times but it was well worth it!
Tomorrow, on the 7th, Me, Karen and our friend Mike will be back packing, overnight, up the Cascade Falls trail in the Indian Peak wilderness area. Hoping to do some painting there. I'll post photos and artwork when I get back. Should be fun!
July 3rd me and my wife, Karen Watkins, will be participating in a Skate Deck show at Plastic Chapel in Denver. There are three venues showing the work Plastic Chapel, Indy Ink, and News Speak. It should be a lot of fun. I really love what Karen put together for it, I'll post hers up soon. Below is what I came up with- a simple figure with a black dress, seemed to fit the shape of the board.
Welcome to my Blog! OK, for my first post I'm putting up the sketches I did on my recent Wyoming trip. It was a lot of fun! Me and my wife spent the week with her parents and in the morning I was able to sneak out and do a few sketches while there.
"River Study" Oil 6" by 8" First study I did, which was right by the camp we stayed at.
"Window through the Trees" Oil 11" by 14" down the road from where we stayed. My attempt at a mountain view with some back lighting behind the trees.
"Mountain View" Oil 8" by 10"
"Over the Hills" Oil 9" by 12" I did this one entirely with the brush at first and didn't like the way it was going so I scraped it away and then did it entirely with the palette knife.
"Pond Reflections" Oil 6" by 8" First one I did when we arrived at the Tetons
"Mist over the Tetons" Oil 11" by 14" I had to do a painting of the Tetons before we left. I think I'd be happier with this painting if it had a better composition. However it was fun being out and painting those beautiful mountains!
"Back Light Hills" Oil 8" by 10" This is a piece I did when I returned home to Denver. The trip was a lot of fun and can't wait to visit again and maybe do more sketches now that I'm more familiar with the area.
Thanks for reading my new blog. I plan on posting all kinds of new work, new events, photos and features on other artists. Hope you sign up to follow!