Monday, December 12, 2005

Painting Demo Part III:
***Click here to view the demo from the beginning

Things are really starting to take shape now. I've started to add more of the "local" color greens to the highlight side of my distant trees, allowing the deep blues and blue grays to act as the shadowed underside. I also begin to indicate the lines of the vineyards and the silvery olive trees that dot the distant countryside.

The painting is looking close to being finished (at least in my mind). Just a few details to address now. I've given more dimension to the olive trees in front and have begun to restate the trunks, adding some of the bluish highlights just in places where the sun hits the gnarled forms. I keep my distant buildings soft and sketchy because they are farther away. Highlights on the distant trees are duller than the richer green colors that I put on the highlights in the foreground. I also add detail strokes to my cypresses. Now I take a nice long look at the painting to see what adjustments need to be made before I start finishing. Placing a mirror on the wall just opposite of your painting is an excellent tool for this purpose. It reflects the painting back in reverse, giving you a fresh viewpoint from which to see the painting anew. Sometimes when you've been staring at a painting for hours it's hard to see what needs to be changed.

Viola! Here is the painting in its finished (or nearly so) form. I've touched in the slight suggestion of windows on some of the buildings, taking care not to do too much of that in the distant ones. I've also developed my vineyards a little more and restated my tree branches. One adjustment I made with my reverse viewing/mirror technique was in the foreground trees. I didn't like how the tree line stopped just short of the edge of the picture plane. It made the composition feel too boxed in. So I extended the tree line out to the edge, which I think gives it a nicer sense of fluidity.

"Gli Olivi della Crete," Oil on Canvas, 30 x 40"

As you may have surmised that "Gli Olivi" means olive trees, and La Crete is the region in Tuscany that is depicted. Over the next week as I work on other paintings, I will prop this painting up in a visible spot in my studio and just keep looking at it. I may make minor adjustments to it if something really jumps out at me after a while, or I may deem it "finished" and put a coat of retouch varnish on it when it dries to the touch for protection.

Thanks for tuning in! If you'd like to see the entire demo again, please view the following links:

Part I
Part II

Also be sure to visit my website to see a lot more of my work!

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