Painting Demo - Clearing Storm, Summer

The studio with a readied canvas

I came upon this scene after a severe thunderstorm. The sky opened and a warm light blanketed the field and the clouded sky. This painting, Clearing Storm, Summer, will be at my show at the Travis Gallery in New Hope, PA this November. In the next 11 steps you will see the painting unfold. It is painted on a 36x48 inch stretched linen canvas. Enjoy.

Wet Paint - Morning Light, Winter Stream

Morning Light, Winter Stream, oil/linen, 30"x40"

In this painting, I was trying to capture a sense of light that can be most fleeting -- delicate warm sunlight filtering through the distant trees and onto the snow in the foreground. I used a tonalist approach for the distant shoreline by using darker shapes against the snow on the distant bank. I also incorporated a luminist approach to color where as I created a sense of light and shadow in the foreground with temperature changes rather than value changes. This enables me to keep the snow in shadow bright and light instead of dark and murky if I had used a dramatic value change.

In this detail, I wanted to show the weaving process of color, texture and values to create space.

Here, I used lighter values on the branches of the near tree to create a separation of snow on those branches from the background and also some flecks of warmer light.

Rather than using a dramatic value shift to seperate light and shadow on the snow, I chose to hold the separation with a change in color temperature. Shaodws are cool and the lights are warm. This technique yields a much more subtle and sophisticated approach to the representation of light and shadow.

One final detail to show the reflections in the water are warm because of what is directly above it -- the warmth in the trees.