Landscape Demonstration

Step One.
My initial sketch, completed with a small bristle brush, immediately establishes the design using a minimal amount of relatively dry brushwork.  I try to avoid using too much paint at this stage so that I can easily alter the composition.  I focus on placing the center of interest in a well-balanced arrangement of shapes.  The canvas has been toned in a light golden hue that will keep the center of interest, the Cottonwood tree, glowing and fresh.  The toned canvas also establishes a warm dominant mood that will make it simpler to suggest the light effect that I have in mind.  Burnt Sienna is used to create the sketch.

Step 1
Step Two.
As I continue to pull the composition together, refine the main shapes and add some smaller, subordinate shapes, I spend additional time developing a cohesive value pattern. My aim is to create a simple but arresting pattern of lights and darks that simultaneously suggests the source of light on the subject.  When painting outside, it is important that the value pattern be established as soon as possible due to the rapidly changing position of the sun.   
Step 2

Step Three.
The major shapes are massed in quite simply with large bristle brushes using colors that will approximate the finished painting.  In this step, I am most concerned with establishing the colors that will carry the composition and create an interesting variety of hue, temperature, intensity and value.  I always use a different brush for each color throughout the painting to avoid contamination and to keep my colors bright and fresh.

Step 3

Step Four.
I complete the painting by applying thicker paint, using the largest brush possible to avoid over-painting and to keep the brushwork spontaneous.  Final adjustments to values, shapes and colors are made with a few decisive and carefully-placed brushstrokes, paying special attention at this stage to creating a variety of lost-and-found edges.  I introduce calligraphy using a rigger or #1 bristle brush to suggest detail, provide a greater variety of shapes and color and add interest to the composition.

Step 4

"Along the Poudre"
by Harold Frontz

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