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…

Limited palette color study

“Early Summer Serenity”, 8×10.5, oil on canvas panel After a couple of weeks away from my easel, I was itching to get some painting in today. I’ve been doing more sketching and working on engaging my right brain during the process, which makes me enjoy it much more. My favorite way to sketch these days is gesture drawing because I approach them in a much more loose and carefree way. Yesterday I pulled a photo of a local park out of my reference photo stack and did a quick sketch of it in two values. The foreground wasn’t very interesting,…

Limited palette color mixing study

Limited palette color study, 5 1/2 x 7, oil on canvas A couple of months ago I purchased one of Barbara Jaenicke’s excellent monthly lessons that was about color mixing for oils. It also included color palette selection for soft pastels which was great because I could see her thought process on both mediums as well as a demo from start to finish to see how her process differs between oils and pastels. Purchasing the lesson includes an opportunity to submit a painting to her for personalized feedback. And I was really impressed with the thought and care she put…

What heat advisory?

Painting outdoors at the Durant Nature Preserve pond I was all set to spend a few full days painting outdoors, but the weather isn’t cooperating. So I’m shooting for a few quick morning outings instead. I wish I’d picked a closer spot this morning because it took about 25 minutes just to get to the location, and since it was my first time there I had to walk around a bit to choose where to set up. But on the upside, my goal was to do a series of fast studies so the rising temperature helped hurry me along a…

Wrap-up of 30 Days of Value Thumbnails challenge

Studying value structures and composition with simple shapes, mostly from photos but a few plein air in the mix My 30-day Value Thumbnail challenge is complete! I’ve loved this project for so many reasons. Developing the habit of doing thumbnails to quickly see the strengths and weaknesses of the composition Great practice for breaking a complex subject down into simple shapes Got me more comfortable making decisions on the value structure of a landscape scene Gave me experience with troublesome or tricky value structures Taught me more about creating depth and atmosphere in a landscape Helped me appreciate the importance…