Monday, May 4, 2015

Is the Sky Painted First?

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 distance.

Your comments and questions are always welcome. I hope you will find my answers useful.

Thank you for visiting my studio,

This painting was available in my Ebay page.

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Your comments and questions are always welcome. Thank you.