This spring when the icebergs came to town, I took a ride down the Avalon peninsula on the road known as the Irish Loop. I love driving around just following the roads that look the prettiest. As the sun was setting in Ferryland, it lit up this house and ocean in a strking manner. I take my trusty Canon point and shoot everywhere and snapped some photos. Today I picked this one to paint for day 5 of the 30 in 3o painting challenge.
The weather was gorgeous today so I painted in my backyard. And since there was no rain in sight, I decided to go back to oil painting. I also decided to refresh my oil technique basics first because I felt shaky after neglecting it in favour of doing pastels. So I rewatched this video by Barry John Rayboud.
Barry has devised an easy-to-follow 9-step plan to alla prima painting which is a great road plan to follow. I used this for my painting above and had loads of fun with minimal head scratching and hair pulling. I am going to stick to this for the next while until I memorize it good. The steps are:
- Start with a plan – sketch out the darks and lights in a sketchbook. Use a 3 value notan structure.
- Map shapes with quick drying black paint. This stage does not need to be detailed, you will paint over them. But now is the time to get your proportions and perspective accurate.
- Do the underpainting. Start with the darks – they are most effective when transparent and thin.
- Now work out values. Be sure your values are correct: it is very difficult to change the values after you’ve painted large areas with thick paint. What is bathed in light, and what is in shadow? Dab your mixed colours in each of your shapes to make sure the values are just right.
- Block in the dark – it is easier to paint light over dark and thick over thin than vice versa.
- Block in the lights.
- Check your work: step back and see the design. Have you captured the impressions, is your composition pleasing?.
- Time to refine: make the shapes more accurate and interesting. Do more work in the centre of interest. Check your ins and outs of the painting (where your eye enters and follows).
- Now look for ways to simplify the painting so you don’t lose the impact.