9 mini landscape paintings project, number 4

9 mini landscape paintings 4
“At Home Among the Tangles”, 3×4, oil on oil paper

I’ve been learning about analogous color schemes along with tonalism, and for this mini landscape painting I chose a photo I took on a local trail last March. The trees were mostly bare, and there was a hint of grass in an otherwise largely monochromatic scene. So I thought it would be a good time to try practicing an analogous scheme.

My concept was based on a peaceful path winding through a tangle of winter woods, with some small trees that have a lyrical movement to them. It’s a combination of O and S compositional armatures. Since this particular landscape is relatively low contrast with lots of trunks and branches, I sketched the value thumbnail with charcoals on newsprint to give a softer, more vague foundation. This is a technique I learned in Barbara Jaenicke’s online oil painting course when she teaches a segment on edges and editing. It’s nice to have lots of tools in my tool belt for different scenarios!

I used Procreate to make the Notan because I had a file set up where I was trying to get the shape of the path to make sense. I like being able to easily draw and erase with the Apple pen — much easier than grinding a sheet of paper into a mushy mess. Which was pretty much the direction things were headed initially because the perspective on that trail was giving me all sorts of trouble.

I wanted to capture the feeling of an overcast day, in the late afternoon. The analogous color scheme is made of red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, and yellow. Instead of a complementary color to lower the intensity, I chose ivory black.

The tube colors are:

  • cadmium yellow light
  • yellow ochre
  • burnt sienna
  • terra rosa
  • ivory black
  • titanium white
9 mini landscape paintings - planning
Value thumbnail in charcoal on newsprint, Notan done in Procreate, and color palette test swatches based on reference photo in upper left

The oil paper was toned with a thin wash of burnt umber, which was also used for the block in. I started by putting down a mid-value, low-intensity red orange (terra rosa) in the general tree areas, and then went in and defined some of the trees. I like how the yellow and black make a green, but that’s cheating the color scheme a bit.

Awhile back I tried a scene similar to this one and totally hated how it turned out. I like this one much more, so that feels like progress! I’d like to experiment more with analogous color schemes, perhaps limiting to three hues and choosing a much different scene to compare the experiences.