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The subject of this scene, an old Italian church, is unique because it is situated at a much higher elevation, being looked at from down below.
The star of this scene is an old Italian country house covered in a variety vines and plants of varying color. A break was taken to do studies of chickens, which were painted into the scene as an interesting foreground element.
This scene overlooks a classic Italian countryside, complete with rolling fields and hills. The Painting starts off in a lower key and is brightened up on the 2nd day.
The main tree in this meadowy scene was mostly in sunlight in the morning, but by this time in the late afternoon, it was almost completely in shadow. Approaching the same scene at different times of day can help you expand your understanding of the different effects of light.
This scene consists of trees in the foreground, a body of water, and a distant hill. When painting landscapes, you don’t always have to rush. Sometimes, like in this lake scene, it is possible to come back to your location under the same lighting conditions to do a multi-session painting.
In the coastal scene, the nearby town was the focus of the painting. The town was close and you could clearly see individual structures. Interpreting and simplifying the town was the main challenge of the painting. The strategy used here was to group the vertical planes together in shadow, and all of the top planes together in sunlight.
In this grassland scene, the main draw was to the contrast of the dark oaks tree against the sycamore tree just in front of it with yellowish-green spring leaves.
The scene is blanketed by a canopy of trees, making for dappled light effects. It’s almost like an interior with windows looking out to the rest of the landscape. As the light filters through red trees, it created fast-moving patterns of light and shadow on the forest floor. This creates a significant challenge. Every few minutes, nature offers a different design, so you have to make decisions based on these options. You won’t see a specific pattern of light and shadow repeated unless you come back the next day. Nature offers an infinite amount of possibilities, and it’s our job as a painter to select and design them.
Some people associate landscape painting with big natural views, but there’s no difference in approach in painting an urban or rural landscape. It’s often valuable to have a human element in a landscape painting. A building, a fence, a road, or a path: these are things that allow a viewer to feel more connected to the scene. This next demo was set up in an alleyway. This scene was chosen because of the way the telephone poles broke up the mass of the sky to create interesting shapes, and because it allowed for the use of two-point perspective.
This coastal scene had a clear example of atmospheric perspective. Most of the shapes and masses were pretty clear and simplified, but one of the challenges was interpreting the background which was full of houses and streets. In this one hour sketch, the goal was to suggest a town in the distance but while not making it the focus of the painting.