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Final Reflections

Romain 02 Feb 2020

My fifth oil painting, on 30x40cm cardboard canvas as the previous ones. It took like 10 hours with many breaks. I was quite unsatisfied with my last one and wanted to try many things after a retrospective and following the Q&A of the related Joy of Painting episode, and having fun making the canvas a playground for experiments.

Because the canvas board absorbs the magic white, I did three layers of it during the painting; sky, river and rocks areas. It seems to work a little bit better and did not lead me to use a lot of solvant later. I'll finish my stock of boards still, maybe priming it before with acrylic on my next paintings.

Clouds were easier to make with a grease on the board. I did the mountains with 1 and 2" brushes only since I am still unconfortable with a too small and flexible knife. Quite happy with the emerald result, looking like Vercors. Later painted clouds blended up nicely too.

I still need to work on the relief effect with plans of bushes. A lot of color, but I can do better with values and contrast to suggest more depths. When I realized that, I dropped the two evergreens and small branches around.

Even with the idea of rocky edges in the foreground before painting, I used the darkness and its space to reinforce the impression of depth. Issue was, it looked too oppressant, with unused emptiness on the top of the painting. Remembering that silhouetttes tend to get darker closer to the observer, I figured that one more colored and cheerful tree can do the job. Hence the cherry blossom tree on the left, which I tried to suggest the flowers by mixing the colors on the brush.

Hope you enjoyed my way of thinking. I am looking forward to hearing your feedback on this one, thanks! :)


Voy Kay Conqueror of Challenges

Quite some effort you put in this and it shows, your depth is really visible, no worries. Concerning the canvas boards, I used some of those too in the past and indeed, they need to be primed up front with white or back gesso. No problems then afterwards!

Very thoughtful painting process! You spent your time as good investment in your theoretical and practical laggage! Wonderful that you were thinking about value, definitely here you have the change as you progress to the foreground. There is certainly complexity of the colors. Clouds in the mountains look great! I think you were trying to achieve framing effect for the mountain and tree blossom (nice idea) does the job. My advice to you would be to sketch on the paper as you progress before actually adding things to the canvas because tree frames the mountain very tight. Or take the picture and using basic editor on the phone you can check if something worth to be added and its exact position.
You are definitely on the right path and your thought process is amazing for just 5th painting!
Also another moment that you mentioned and I would agree with you that panels pull oil from the paint quite strongly. Gesso it or try matt acrylics as additional layer. Or try to add a bit of linseed oil to the liquid white(but be careful with it.)
May be for 30x40cm is quite small size and you may try smaller brushes for painting. I figured that 1 and 2 inches work best on 18x24 inches. However it is artistic process and nobody prohibits to use them on smaller size canvas.
Looking forward your next painting!

Romain Master of Portraits

Thank you very much Voy and Sunnylady for your feedback!

Yes, let's see how priming will be a game changer in a few days. I have good hopes for this, since I started painting lessons on the side to get more more at ease with the techniques. Painting with fingers on a canvas with a good acrylic priming tells me this will be great!

I may get back to monochromatic paintings for a while, because I love those and it indeed helps me a lot to master values. Fitting a multitude of colors will come later. :)

There indeed was an idea of framing before painting. I wanted to paint a view to the river from very high, as I would form a curve of many plans. Since I missed the river, I compensate in the end with the cherry blossom tree. Happy accident! And yes, I totally agree, sketching is great for composition. For now, I just made one or two small doodles for each painting, useful as quick reminders while painting.

Finally, I have smaller brushes for the size of my canvases. My problem on this aspect is that they are not dense enough and too rigid to reproduce effects that Bob makes in the videos. My adventures for better tools continue. ;)

can't believe this is your fifth painting.
you nned to practice foreground but background is
superb. feels great depth.
When highlight cherry blossom , need to use much more liquid white.

I love it!!!! As much as I recognize the incredible skill it takes to make a painting look like a photograph I've always been more drawn to styles like you have here. It's more about the blend of the colors and how they all work together creating depth and values. I'll have to go check out other posts of yours now!!!

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