Stay tuned #1

I’m doing this painting to replace one we sold at Earthwood Gallery in Boulder. It’s 30×40 inches and is based on a 9×12 done during the plein air competition in Estes Park this last Aug. (I think you can find the little one way back in one of the posts somewhere.) I’m going to be working over time on this one so I can have it finished in just a few days. I thought I’d blog along with it and we’ll all see what shakes out by the time I’m finished. So far I’m liking it. My dark light pattern is pretty much established in this initial wash/drawing and I’ve managed to compose that pattern where the dark areas all touch. I’ve made some changes from what is actually there in life but not many. Biggest changes being the extra weight on the left with the taller tree, the larger bush and more shadow area on the right. Also the shape of the pathway as it comes forward widens. The scene is in Rocky Mountain National Park.

I’m just going to add to this single post as the week goes on so stay tuned. EW

All I was concerned with here was “dark side/light side” and patterns. The dark color is a mixture of Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Pale and a little bit of Bright Red. I used to paint in shapes like these as one all dark shape. I have found though it’s easier to leave the light side unpainted and paint it later than it is to try and lighten a dark dark color.


Then the light side. The color on the light side of the trees is the same as in the dark side minus the Bright Red. Sometimes I’d add a little Cadmium Orange to warm up the mixture and to bring some areas a little more forward. The really dark trees further back were cooled down a little and lightened slightly to push them back into the picture plane. I can start to see depth now when it comes to placement of the trees near and far.


The far mountains were a lot of fun to do.That area is mostly a a big plane of abstract brush work if taken just by itself. I purposely painted this area more pale than the photo indicated but I find if I over do it a little I can gain even more depth. The paint is pretty thick and the brush work was laid in quickly. I put in a little detail in the trees with the tree trunks and I corrected that silly “S” curve trunk far right. After painting the sky it was just a matter painting bird holes and bringing all the edges together.

I tried to paint the sky with the same energy and brush work I’ve managed every where else in this painting. I’ve stopped painting for today and what worries me every time I put my brushes up is, “Will I be able to come back later and find the same energy I had today?” Cross yer fingers!! EW


11 Responses to “Stay tuned #1”

  1. Watching a painting grow is so exciting. It’s also great to
    read how you think about it as you go along.

    I really like the red drawing in the under painting.


  2. Thanks Barbara, It’s a good start so far. I’m probably sticking my neck out just a little. Usually I know if the painting was success before I show steps. This time……Keep fingers crossed please.:)

  3. Rick Frisbie Says:

    Hi Eldon, I’m enjoyiong the demo. About how much time have you spent working on this painting so far? Thanks. Rick

  4. Vicki Barton Says:

    You’ve got it! The underpainting was captivating from the get go. It is amazing to watch the transformation from pattern to reality. Keep it up.

  5. Hi Eldon,

    I think we all worry about maintaining our energy when we we’re
    working something through. But your painting had good bones,
    and you have so much talent. Of course it’s going to be
    gorgeous. I love the discussion. It feels like you’re in
    the room talking about the piece. So nice.


  6. Vicki Barton Says:

    How can you resist just “smooshing” in all of the grass contours?

  7. Hi Barbara, Thanks for the comments. I wish I actually were in the back of the room talking about painting. As I paint this one I realize the short comings of doing this in a blog. Very limiting to say the least. Better still than nothing I suppose. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Rick, Glad you’re enjoying this post. I know it’s getting long. Tomorrow I’ll break this thing out into 3 pieces. Since my last email I’ve added another 4 hours or so bringing the total to around 15 hours.

  9. Vicki, who said I’ve resisted? ๐Ÿ™‚ Smooshing is what it’s all about. Smooshing = soft edges.

  10. It will definitely be a good painting you are off to a great start. I like how you redesigned the composition, changed the angle a bit…added some life..(people) and your painterly interpretation and colors will always carry you through! Exciting to see your work process. I may post a demo myself!

  11. Theresa, I’d love to see you do a demo. Your work is beautiful and to see you paint would be way cool. Soon?

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