9 mini landscape paintings project, number 8

9 mini landscape paintings 8
“Winding Down”, 3 x 4, oil on oil paper

When I look at the reference photo for this mini landscape painting, I’m reminded of the pleasant summer evening, when there were pretty clouds in the sky and the sun was just starting its descent. It was a very relaxing and peaceful experience to be in a local park that evening, so my concept is based on that idea of winding down from the day of working and just enjoying this beautiful time of day.

I had in mind a steelyard type of compositional design stem, but by the time I finished the small tree on the left didn’t really have enough oomph to pull that off. I think now it’s more like a pyramid composition.

The color strategy on this one was interesting, and more complex than the others in this project have been. The color scheme is a double complementary (tetrad) of yellow-green, red-violet, blue-green, and red-orange. I wanted more intense color, but still plenty of ammo for neutralizing so they weren’t full intensity. The tube colors I used were cadmium yellow (Holbein), prussian blue, and cadmium red deep.

From these three primaries, I mixed the actual colors for my scheme and tested out how they’d work. I didn’t really give myself enough time to fully experience this palette before wrapping up for dinner. It was harder for me to control the intensity with these mixes than many of the other strategies I’ve been using, mostly because I felt rushed.

I was trying to emphasize a red-orange, low-sun light shining across the scene, but I don’t think I captured it quite the way I had in mind. I’d like to do some studying of this location in person, taking color notes instead of relying on the camera and my memory. Not in order to copy exactly what I saw, but to deepen my understanding of what happens to colors in different light conditions to make better choices at the easel.

9 mini landscape paintings 8 - planning
Value thumbnail, Notan, and color strategy based on reference photo in upper left
9 mini landscape paintings 8 - grey
Completed painting converted to grey

I didn’t do a monochromatic block in for this one, but the surface had been toned with mid-value burnt sienna. There are tiny bits of that color peeking out around the green which I like. The trees are way too smooth and solid. I think they have a sense of form and dimension, but not enough variation and air between the leaves.