Saturday, August 2, 2014

Into the Coast Range

“The Trout Pool below the Beaver Dam”
(Oregon Coast Range)
Oil Painting on Centurion Oil Primed Panel
with an additional Priming Coat of Lead White in Oil by Rublev
7” x 5”

Back in May of this year, I started getting out for long weekends into the Oregon Coast Range above McMinnville, taking a break from the long preparations for this Blog.  I had finally realized that the weekend hours at the Library were not long enough to do any meaningful work, and I wished I had realized this back in March; before that I was busy getting a new engine in my SUV & readying my accounts for the fiscal year’s end, as well as there was just too much snow up there on the forest roads that I like to frequent.  But it was refreshing to at last be out there and refresh my mind as to what this Odyssey is all about.

I came upon this scene in the Autumn of 2012, but this Springtime Idyll grabbed my attention at first sight this year, shouting “Paint me!”  It is an example of how I want to approach my more complete Oils; that is to be somewhere between the fine detail of my Studio Watercolours, and the looseness of my Oil Sketches, and that is why it is signed as I do my more complete work, as you are no doubt aware since you all have obviously clicked & read every tab of my Blog, especially in this case the “Stuff” tab.  

I laid down and imprimatura with Winsor & Newton Burnt Sienna (Alkyd), so that it would set up quicker, and proceeded to block in and draw the composition with a mixture of W&N Ultramarine Blue, & Rublev Italian Burnt Sienna.  Then I began on the colouring, again blocking in the big shapes of the sky, distant forest covered hills, trees, foreground water, etc. and then going over it all again refining the shapes and super-imposing the detail with finer brushes.  I mixed a variety of greens from W&N Ultramarine Blue and Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre for the darker greens (especially in the shadows of the tree on the left), W&N Cobalt Blue & the Yellow Ochre for the more subdued greens and Cerulean Blue and Cadmium Yellow Pale (both W&N) for the brighter greens found in the foreground.  The complete Palette is Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre &  Rublev Italian Burnt Sienna (both wonderful colour from Natural Pigments), Venetian Red, Cobalt, Ultramarine & Cerulean Blue (all W&N), W&N Cadmium Yellow Pale & Rublev Flemish Lead White. 

Throughout the painting sessions over two successive afternoons Trout were leaping for the occasional insect or now & again darting here and there; I watched a Bald Eagle come and go, and a Heron, as well as Dragonflies hunting, and listened to a few busy Bees working the flower nearby; only a few of the delights witnessed. Only one or two vehicles traversed the bridge I was lurking under while I painted away.

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