low key light study oil painting - featured

Study of landscape in low key light

Overcast days are common here in North Carolina, and I’m drawn to the quiet moodiness of the low key light when the sun is hidden by clouds. But so much of the teaching I’ve followed has been about how to address brightly-lit landscapes. That’s one of the big things that Impressionists often capture — the sun and its effect on color — and most of my virtual mentors have been in the Impressionist camp. Lately I’ve been exploring Tonalism, and along with that how to handle more diverse light situations related to the landscape. I purchased several lessons from Dianne…

oil painting of mandarin orange Mar 15 2020 - featured

Simple mandarin orange still life painting

Every time I took one of these mandarin oranges out of the bag to eat, I had the thought that I’d love to paint one of them. Since this was the last one in the bag, today was the day to make it happen! I’ve been studying classic oil painting a little bit and wanted to try this with an old-masters-classic feel. I used an 8 x 10 oil primed linen panel that had been toned with burnt umber to a light value. To begin, I brushed a thin layer of burnt umber all over the panel and wiped out…

9 mini landscape paintings project featured collage

Wrap-up of the 9 mini landscape paintings project

My goal with this 9 mini landscape paintings project was to get over feeling rusty with painting and have fun getting back into landscape painting. To do this, I would go through my painting process from start to finish (except for varnishing) 9 times within 3 weeks. The deadline was simply so I didn’t let the project linger without making progress. I’m very happy that I did reach my goal! Doing regular, small work and going through my painting process worksheet several times got me over the fear of starting and helped generate enthusiasm for exploring more ideas. More ideas…

9 mini landscape paintings 9 - featured

9 mini landscape paintings project, number 9

For the final entry in my 9 mini landscapes painting project, I chose a photo from my collection that was not very interesting as a composition. But I liked enough of the elements to do some redesigning in order to turn it into something I liked better. As I studied the reference photo, one of the things that stood out to me was the contrast between the large tree in the foreground that was almost entirely in shadow, and the middle ground trees that were struck by the low evening light. So that’s what I chose as the concept: the…

9 mini landscape paintings 8 - featured

9 mini landscape paintings project, number 8

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…