Wednesday, August 22, 2012


After the block-in stage, I can relax a little.  The composition is all figured out, so I can pick on an area and work on it.  In this case the background is usually what I like to get completed first since sometimes you have objects in the foreground overlapping.  It’s nice to not have to paint your background around tree limbs for example. 

There is some distance involved in my landscape. That canyon wall in the background is most likely several thousand feet away, so I need to show this in the painting. The way I accomplish it is by using blue to create the atmospheric perspective. The farther an object is away the more it will become diffused through water vapor in the air, which give it that bluish haze one often notices.  The value is also diminished, instead of the full range where one is the brightest and ten being the darkest; the rock cliff back in the painting might only have a range of the lightest area being a 4 and the dark shadow area having a value of 6. 

With this in mind I made sure to have my values very close together to give it the illusion of being pushed back several thousand feet.  Most of the time I was using Cobalt Blue Light and Cadmium Orange, the two colors would neutralize each other quite nicely, then with a little Titanium White mixed in I could get the value correct. Most of the rock cliffs are defined through temperature change between the orange and blue, the value is basically all the same.

The sky I kept very light with a hint of yellow added for warmth. As I move forward in the painting my colors will become richer and the value range shall increase.

Richard Boyer

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