Saturday, May 19, 2012

TEN YEAR OLD PAINTING REDO

I have been painting landscapes for about twelve years and in that time I hope I have grown as a painter and observer of nature. I had been painting landscapes for about two years when I did the painting below for my in-laws who lived in El Paso at the time. These are the Guadalupe Mountains in west Texas at the top of which is the highest point in Texas. At the time I did this piece I was quite proud of the result.



A couple of years ago my in-laws moved to McKinney so I got to see this painting quite often and they had hung the painting in a place of prominence in their home. The more I saw the painting the more I came to not like it. In the first place everything is green, from the foreground to the mountains with very little atmospheric rendering. From this view point the mountains are at least five miles away and I painted them as green as if they were two feet in front of the viewer and to be honest, there is nothing green out there.

It comes to pass that we are having dinner one night at my in-laws home and I am staring at this painting while we eat and I think at some point I made the comment that "I can't stand to be in the same room as that painting". I asked if I could give the painting a facelift.
As Mothers Day approached I set to task of fixing the painting and I documented the steps I took doing the fix. 



After covering the entire painting in Liquin, I decided to change the sky into a more midday sky instead of late afternoon so I painted in the sky first. This will set the tone for everything that comes next. 

In order to kill the green in the mountains I knew I had to introduce a lot of purples and blues into the shadow side of the mountains. The hardest part here was ignoring all of the green.

                  Close-up

Next I mixed up a large pile of blueish gray color to cover the green. Then I repainted the peak to suit my new color scheme.


Satisfied that I have properly judged and painted the mountain range, I moved to the foreground leaving the middle ground as an area of transition that I may or may not change depending on how the foreground turns out.

                  Close-up

                  Close-up

In this close-up you can really see how green my original greens were. YUCK!


Taking some burnt sienna I draw in a design change to the foreground. I decide I want a lead-in that will take the viewer from the foreground toward the mountains and I'm going to do this by putting the left hand side in shadow then I'm going to brighten up the ground and place scrub brush in such a way that I control the viewer's path through the painting.

Also, geologically speaking, there is a valley full of large boulders that you always see in photographs of the Guadalupe Mountains so I have decided to put them into this painting. They were absent in the original version.

                  Close-up

This close-up shows my indication of where the boulders are going to go.


The finished painting. I have decided to leave the middle ground as is which is the only section of the painting I did not redo. Below is the original for comparison. 


I am glad to report that my mother in-law is thrilled with her new painting and now I can enjoy eating a meal in the same room where the painting hangs.



9 comments:

greggart said...

The improvements you made really added some interest and the color differences is remarkable...good work

Randy Saffle said...

It was good then,but great now.
Just imagine what it will look like ten years from now when you go at it again with even better skills.

Susan Roux said...

Interesting post. I like the foreground in the final painting, but have to admit, there were things in the first that also appealed to me. It clearly shows how an artist's evolution has us perceiving things differently with time. Our methods for capturing certain effects change too. If I had one of my old paintings, loosening up my stroke would be apparent too.

Glad to hear it was well received.

Rusty Jones said...

Thanks ya'll. I think Randy's point is well taken. One of the things that attracts collectors is consistency, but I think they realize the inherent quality we all have to grow and to push ourselves to new heights of artistic ability.

Judy P. said...

It's great studying your changes! One question - you changed the sky from late afternoon to more mid-day, but I thought that original pale cool sky would be morning.
What would an early morning sky be to you, in general?
Thanks Rusty!

Rusty Jones said...

Hey Judy.

My morning sky would have touches of pink in it whereas my late afternoon sky tends to be on the yellowish/green side.

If this was a late afternoon sky the left side of the peak would be lit up instead of in shadow like in my painting. When I painted this the first time it was from a photo and I had not seen the peak in real life yet. I have visited it twice since so now I know which way the sun passes over the peak. I did the redo without a photo, but knowing the shadow pattern told me to paint a late morning sky. More blue than pink, but not any yellow yet.

My morning clouds have blue in them and my late afternoon clouds have yellow ochre and some alizarin in them. Hope this helps.

Rusty Jones said...

Hey Judy.

My morning sky would have touches of pink in it whereas my late afternoon sky tends to be on the yellowish/green side.

If this was a late afternoon sky the left side of the peak would be lit up instead of in shadow like in my painting. When I painted this the first time it was from a photo and I had not seen the peak in real life yet. I have visited it twice since so now I know which way the sun passes over the peak. I did the redo without a photo, but knowing the shadow pattern told me to paint a late morning sky. More blue than pink, but not any yellow yet.

My morning clouds have blue in them and my late afternoon clouds have yellow ochre and some alizarin in them. Hope this helps.

Judy P. said...

Yes Rusty- that clears up some ideas in my head I wasn't sure about. Thanks so much, this really helps!

city said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.