Another question received. “When painting landscapes, do you
start with the sky and work down?”
Birch Point, 8x10, oil SOLD
Birch Point lay-in.
My answer –
Usually, no. I like to start at the focal point and work
outwards. This helps me to maintain the strength of my focal point. I gradually
reduce contrasts, intensities and eliminate unnecessary details as I work away
from this main area.
Leaving the sky until last also allows me to choose colors
that will harmonize with the colors and mood of my landscape. I can then choose
the type of sky – clear, cloudy, stormy and the time of day. For me, it makes
more sense to balance the sky to the landscape instead of the reverse.
As you can see in the lay-in of the painting above, I have
left the sky and the brook for the final step. I did give the distant water a
hint of color (which I later adjusted) to remind me that I wanted a lake in the
Your comments and questions are always welcome. I hope you
will find my answers useful.