This is the start of a landscape I’ve been trying to get to for a while.
What I concentrated on most with the upper area was painting space and getting the landscape to go as far into the distance as I could get it to go. I began with the darks of the pine trees close up and painted them lighter and a little more gray as they went back into the picture plane. Beyond that, in the row of trees further back and the hill sides, I painted with a lot less detail and a lot of grayed color to keep things going away into the distance. I brushed in the sky and clouds even more pale but fairly light as the sky in that area holds the light source for this piece.
Then I pulled back and painted the brush along the river banks. The color here is warmer and I’ll keep painting warm as I get back closer to the foreground. The red/brown shadows of the pine tree are my first intrusion into this area.
This bright blue (cobalt + white) area in the water is warmed with a bit of alizarine crimson and brushed in pretty quickly. This passage is going to give me something to paint into (wet into wet) with some of the sky color a little later.
I also darkened those shadows on the water cast by the pine trees. The light source is behind the trees and the trees are casting a shadow onto the water. When the light source is directly behind an object, in this case the pine trees, a shadow is cast into the foreground. The shadows cast on to water blocks a reflection from the sky and lets someone from this point of view see down into the water to the bottom of the river bed. The color here seems to be very warm and rusty. Also I laid in the foliage lower right keeping the same concept in mind of warmer color up front, cooler in the distance.
Here is where I began painting wet, lighter color into the water. I’ve also started painting in some reflections and color from the sky. The shadows on the water were a little hard edged so I took this opportunity to soften edges and get them to become more a part of the surface of the water.
Next the base color for the sand bar. I’ll use this base like I did the blue in the water. I’ll paint back into it wet in wet and develope the textures and shapes of the rocks in that area.
The above three details show how I worked my way across the sand bar. Up close it simply looks a little lacy but takes on shape and detail as the viewer gets further away from the piece. I used a round to do the detail in this are. (I’ve only recently found that a flat isn’t the only brush in the world.)
Now the painting is more or less complete. I’ve finished the sand bar and placed a few details in the trees such as the trunks and a few branches. The trunks on the left and close up are warmer and a little more distinct than those on the right. My center of interest was put in last.