Tuesday, October 25, 2016

092816 S 30x24 Twilight in the Snowy Forest

I wanted to create a 30" x 24" oil painting inspired by a plein air oil I did on location several years ago.  To be honest, I regret selling this painting. 
"Twilight in the Forest, February 5, 2013", oil on panel, 16"x12", by Charlene Marsh.  SOLD

I set up an "inspiration board" of past plein air snow paintings,in addition to the one above, that I could refer to and pull out the best of the best features. 
I start with an initial sketch using my brush dipped in oil and transparent Primary Red-Magenta.
I mix a black using Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Red Medium.  I also use Ultra Blue with Primary Red-Magenta and sometimes a touch of Cadmium Yellow.
I have a very simple palette with just six primaries plus white.  I usually mix one or two secondary colors with the primaries and then combine those two secondaries to get a tertiary color.  Or a secondary color with the complementary (opposite on the color wheel) primary color to get a nice range of neutrals from grey to brown.  You can see here where I have mixed an orange(secondary color) using Primary Red Magenta and Cadmium Yellow. I  lightened the primary color, Cerulean Blue with Titanium White.  
Using various combinations of the complementary colors, I could mix a wide range of neutrals to block in the shadows on the snow. 
I continue blocking in the snow, starting with the shadow areas and working to the highlights.
For the sky, I mixed Cerulean Blue with Titanium White and a pale orange color.  The pale orange was blocked in along the horizon line and the blue was painted in higher up on the panel.  I could then gradually combine the two complementaries to get the neutral colors where the two intersect.  Neutrals can be magical!  They add an ethereal glow to the painting.
I pop in some of the sky orange on the creek where the sky is reflected.  I paint in a shale blue for the water mixed from Cerulean Blue, a touch of Cadmium Yellow Light, and a bit of Cadmium Red Medium.  Cadmium Red can be a very strong color so a little goes a long way!

I then work the surface adding the delicate salmon colored ash leaves, branches, trees, weeds, twigs, and more water reflections all weaving across the painting.  I work back and forth between the background and foreground.  Towards the end, I pull out the foreground elements so they sit in front of the background features.  

I was very pleased with the finished painting and the rich tapestry of colors and forms. This painting evokes the same feelings of awe and wonder that the plein air one did, maybe even more so.
"Twilight in the Snowy Forest", Code #092116 30x24, oil on panel, 30" x 24", by Charlene Marsh.

I love to hear your comments and questions!

Thanks and Happy Trails!



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