Saturday, January 14, 2012


The completion of "Hidden Falls" a 24" x 30" studio painting.

"Hidden Falls" 24" x 30" oil/linen Stage 5, 5 minutes

Time to attack the waterfall and shadow areas of the painting. Using a size 12 hog bristle brush I rapidly throw a dark blue/purple tone up both sides of the painting. It is bluer on the left than on right because my light is coming from up left.

"Hidden Falls" 24" x 30" oil/linen, Stage 6, 15 minutes

Taking the blue and purple piles of paint I mix them together and add white to come up with the waterfall color. I want the waterfall to be mostly in shadow with a bit of distance from the middle section of boulders so I work to create this feeling by painting the distance boulders as if they are covered in the mist of the waterfall. Realizing I have a little more than an hour left on the timer I am moving rapidly from section to section trying to create a flow from top to bottom keeping in mind how I want the viewer's eye to flow through the painting.

Close up views of paint strokes. This is the point in my studio paintings where I typically freeze up, tighten up and generally blow it. I see the smaller brushes sitting next to the palette calling my name...begging me to pick them up and abandon my exercise. SHUT UP you silly brushes.
Sticking with my #12 flat bristle brush I paint in the water pools, finish the waterfall and redesign the bottom of the painting.

"Hidden Falls" 24" x 30" oil/linen Stage 7, 1 hour

I step back and decide the row of boulders going through the middle of the painting are catching too much light so I mix some blue/purple stuff and throw it across the top to cool down the light side of the boulders. This pleases me. DING! Kitchen timer just went off. I finish ten minutes before the timer goes off. Total time start to finish is two hours. You can't see it in the finish but there is a lot of fresh, bold, enthusiastic brush strokes. It is still not at the level of freshness I want but it is a step closer. This is a good first step to where I want my work to go this year.


Lorna said...

Wonderful Rusty, well done. Love the painting and its very inspiring to try this exercise too.
Best for 2012
Lorna Allan

David Westerfield said...

Nice Job Rusty. I'm just finishing a 24x12 that I should have done like this.

Rusty Jones said...

Thanks Lorna and David. Yep it was a good exercise that I plan to repeat on a 24" x 48" canvas this week. Grand Canyon here we come!