Evolution of a Painting

I’ve been experimenting with mixing media over the last few months. In this post I wanted to demonstrate the evolution of  a painting from start to finish.

I’ve been thinking about a scene from Curbar Edge, I’ve a photograph, taken quite some time ago of silver birch trees with rocks in the foreground. So long ago in fact,  that I only have a photograph, no digital image.  I’ve done a couple of small paintings, both watercolours from it but wanted to do something bigger.

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This began with a full size piece of Arches watercolour paper,     I’m really enjoying the rough texture of this paper and how the paint behaves on it.  The wash was applied using a household paint brush, nothing sophisticated and kept very wet to keep the paint moving.  I used a cerulean blue,   magenta and cadmium orange leaving lots of white space for the light.

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On the left you can see the range of  colours more clearly, I’ve added Windsor blue and purple here and I’ve also turned it upside down to allow the paint to run.  On the right a close up of the paint running.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith the next steps I  begin to add some spatter to represent leaves and also to begin to draw in some of the trees. I started to use the same colour palette with acrylic paint, taking the opportunity to darken some areas and make the trees more distinct, add in the rocks and grasses in the foreground adding the ferns and bushes in the distance.

Final stages now, adding the dry pastels.

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I used the pastels, again same palette to add strength to highlights and shadows and adding some distinctive marks.  For example the grass in the foreground shown left and the light in the trees shown right.

And finally after some more finishing touches,  adding some acrylic paint over the pastel to knock it back in couple of places and strengthen shadows around the rocks and the trees,  some additional paint applied with a toothbrush splatter in the foreground I’m done!

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