Friday, January 20, 2012


Today is studio day so I thought I would attempt another timed big painting. Got my big boy brushes and my big boy canvas and a kitchen timer so I am ready to go. This one is of the grand canyon. Let's just go ahead and bite off more than we can chew.

This is my reference projected on a 42" high def TV. The foreground element on the left has been put in with Photoshop....did I mention I love Photoshop? The photo is from my trip to the Grand Canyon two summers ago.

My easel setup with the TV off to my right.

My palette and big boy brushes. The palette is from Plein Air Panels,

"Canyon Shadows" 18" x 36" oil/linen, Stage 1

The kitchen timer is set at 2.5 hours. I tone the canvas and apply the preliminary sketch. Time...5 minutes.

"Canyon Shadows" 18" x 36" oil/linen, Stage 2

I've decided the lead-in on the left is very important to the success or failure of the painting so I am going to take it close to completion and then the rest of the painting will be done to work with the lead-in.
Time... one hour.

Close up of the brushwork.

"Canyon Shadows" 18" x 36" oil/linen, Stage 3

Now I block in the rest of the canyon painting the shadow pattern first then filling in. hour. Running out of time!

"Canyon Shadows" 18" x 36" oil/linen, Stage 4

Satisfied with the block-in I move on to the sky. I never found a good reference for the sky so this is one of those "make it up as you go based on what your remember" type skies. Time...15 minutes.

"Canyon Shadows" 18" x 36" oil/linen, Stage 5

I now go back to my lead-in on the left and make a few value changes so it fits the canyon part of the painting and I put finishing touches on the trees. Time...10 minutes.

"Canyon Shadows" 18" x 36" oil/linen, Stage 6

I decide I don't like to spot of light in the bottom right.
I feel this is taking the viewer off the canvas so I darken it. DING! Timer just went off.

I'll stop for now. Put it away for a couple of days then come back and look for places to improve the painting.


Marc R. Hanson said...

Great job Rusty! I'm enjoying these 'big boy, big brushes, little bit 'o time' paintings. I do have an artist curiosity question for you... What brand and type is the linen you're using. Are you buying something that is pre stretched that you're happy with? Thanks.

gfmpainting said...

You done a great job and nice use of colors i love this very much thanks for sharing.....
Oil Painting on Canvas

Pam Holnback said...

This is great! I love seeing how people go from small reference to large!

AnnG said...

Thanks for posting this. I am currently trying to push myself to paint larger, so this step-by-step is very helpful.

Jane Hurd said...

This is great, Rusty.

Rusty Jones said...

Thanks everybody. My goal for doing the large canvas, large brush exercise is to eventually be able to paint that size outdoors. I've been painting on 9" x 12" panels for so long I'm ready for something different. To answer Marc's question, I started painting on oil primed Centurion linen mounted on gatorboard about a year ago and yes I like it very much. All the major art websites carry it...Jerry Artorama is where I get mine.