When we take part, there are certain things to hold in mind about what you did, what you liked ...etcetera.
So here, for anyone who has five minutes to spare in reading, is the process I go through whenever I make a painting.
Year of Painting (YOP)
Number One, Landscape.
Personal Goals for this Painting:
Firstly I set some goals for my thumbnail sketches.
These were :
- do a thumbnail showing the scene as is
- on the next two thumbs, change the ratio of sky to ground and remove anything which clutters the focal point
- on the last thumbnail, keep the focal point, but be completely off the wall in the scenery
- Choose which one of these thumbnails to paint.
Choosing (4), the choices for the painting were to try to
a) paint in a realistic style
b) or not.
I chose to paint the scene (b)
I wanted to achieve a surreal feeling to the painting – a dreamlike state, as one who looks back on their past and remembers it, but not warts and all.
I already had in the back of my mind from the thumbnail stage that this would be The apple tree - the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.. and that the distance would be indicative of how far separated we are from Heaven.
So, here's the painting: The Distant Hills of Youth
What works and what could be improved.
I love the green grass in this painting – it is completely flat in colour, with no graduations and the only shadow that of the tree. This to me is what gives the painting the slightly surreal feel – because no grass would be quite that shade of green or that perfect.
The sky! This could be improved.. I feel if I did it again I would make the sky bluer and the water bluer. I like the way they are now, and the way they meet on the horizon - but if its a dreamlike scenario, it ought to be bluer.
The challenge in painting this as a surreal rendition was not to paint as if it was realistic.
Share Personal Goals and whether you felt you Met Them
My personal goal was to make this a painting of a dream remembered landscape.. one that showed how far away the viewer had grown from Heaven. The hills are a way away from the tree, so I do feel I met that goal – and also the goal of making the landscape surreal.
How I created the Painting.
The sky was painted by dampening the sky and water area and then running in a wash of ultramarine in the wet area.
Distant land was created by making a wash of ultramarine and crimson . Washing over the whole land mass on the first wash, on two thirds on the second wash and on one third for the third wash.
Grass was painted by mixing cad yellow and cobalt blue and painting wet on dry.
When that was dry the tree shadow and the small shrubs were painted in a stickier mix of the two colours, plus a touch of indigo.
Rocks were all variations of raw sienna/burnt sienna and ultramarine, all painted so they merged in a random fashion. The foreground rocks had some dry brush too, as did the reflections in the water.
Size of Painting, Medium, Palette and Brushes.
The painting is on Arches Aquarelle Rough 140lb and is quarter sheet. 15”x11”
The medium is pencil for the under drawing and watercolour for the painting. W&N artists quality .
Palette colours used : French Ultramarine, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Yellow, Indigo
Brushes, Kolinsky, sizes 8 and 3, Sceptre Gold 1” Flat brush.