Saturday, March 25, 2017

031717 S 24x36 Twilight in the Snowy Forest

This is one of my very favorite, plein air, snow oil paintings painted late in the afternoon with the sky starting to turn a peachy sunset color.  I wanted to work this up into a larger, 24" x 36", painting.

"Twilight in the Forest, February 16, 2014, plein air oil on panel, 12" x 16", c. Charlene Marsh.

So I started with a sketch on a magenta tinted panel. 
I mixed up a dark value for the creek water using Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Red Medium.  I also mixed up an orange with the Cadmium Red and Cadmium Yellow Light and then added generous helpings of Ultra Blue. 
The same mix of Ultra Blue and Cad. Red, heavy on the Cadmium Red, is used for the treeline on the horizon of the hills.  Cerulean Blue and Titanium White, with a touch of Cadmium Red and/or Yellow is mixed for the shadows in the snow.  I wanted to keep this palette on the warmer, Cerulean side of blue.  I often slide over towards periwinkle and blue-red-violet for the shadows to keep the golden highlights from shifting to green.  But for this painting I wanted to keep it in the cyan blue range and use peaches for the highlights. 
I often set up the palette for a painting based on a foundation of complementary colors that also make a nice range of ethereal neutrals.  Some highlights using the peachy colors are used on the top of the hills.  Cooler hilltops use various blues mixed with white.
I continue painting the snow on the hills.  The sky color is mixed with two complementary colors.  First, Cerulean Blue and Titanium White are mixed for the sky color at the top.  A second color is mixed from Cadmium Yellow Light and Cadmium Red Medium and/or Primary Red-Magenta to get a sunny, peachy orange.  Generous amounts of White are added to this sunny color and used along the horizon line. 
The two colors, blue and peach, are mixed to get the magical, middle color in the sky.
Once the surface is covered, I start adding the trees.  The major, big trees are painted in first with my palette knives from a deep brown mixed from Cad. Red, Ultra Blue, and a bit of Cad. Yellow.  I use a rubber tipped implement to add twisting and twirling branches and limbs throughout the entire painting.  I continue adding trees and branches with the palette knives. 
I also added the delicate, light, salmon colored ash leaves that cling onto the branches throughout the winter.  I work the entire surface, back and forth from foreground to background, and then back to the foreground pulling the foremost trees out.  I will even go back into the sky to push back certain areas and pull others forward.  Golden orange highlights are added to the foreground of the creek.

 And here is the final painting:

"Twilight in the Forest", oil on panel, 24" x 36", Code #031717 S 24x36, c. 2017 by Charlene Marsh. 

Thanks for following along!

Happy Trails!



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