Thursday, September 5, 2013

Gray Scale Painting

Painting with Black and White

I fell in love with the smoky mountains of Tennessee on my trip across the country.  This is one of the many photographs I took of that area.  To create my painting first I planned what I would paint with several thumbnail sketches of less than a minute each.
Next I spent no more than five minutes planning my painting with a simple drawing called a cartoon, meaning plan for the painting.
Because I do not paint from photos I planned the painting with a value study drawing using my favorite pencil for this type of drawing, Generals Sketch and Wash.  I took about ten minutes creating this value study.
Finally, I get to have fun and paint.  The first step is an abstract background or under-painting in gray only tones.  This took less than five minutes to paint with a large brush and my fingers.
The  next step can be added on top of what I already have,  the sky and first step of the mountains.  This is the advantage to acrylic paints.
As you can see this step was also done very quickly.  I added some dark values for the closer mountains.
Then I added some white mountains as a layer behind the close mountains.  This play of light dark, light dark will continue throughout the painting to create space.
Here you can see I hag added in some layers of light, then dark to create that space and movement for the background of the painting.  All of these steps took less than 30 minutes.  Next it is time to add the details that created the focal point of the painting.
Smoky Mountains, Acrylic on gessoed board



The final steps were a lot of fun after my barn began to take shape.  I painted on this another 2 hours to finish this demonstration.  I feel pretty satisfied with the effort.