Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Blocking In

Study for Autumn Dusting- 16" x 9.5"- Oil on board by Greg Newbold
Yesterday I dug in to a new canvas, yet another view of Mount Olympus, I shot the photo reference that was the inspiration for this view from the roof of my house. I felt like this view needed scale to convey the power and grandeur of the mountain, so, at 3' x 5',  I am once again tackling the largest canvas I have ever attempted. I did a small scale study to figure out the shapes and colors which has already helped immensely.


Even though I am only roughly halfway through this block in stage, I am glad I took the time to do the study. For the block in, I am using the same limited color palette I chose for the small version: Yellow Ochre, Napthol Red, Ultramarine Blue, Titanium White and Ivory Black. I wanted to see how tonal I could make this, consistent with the vibe the reference was giving me. I even started the study sans the blue in an attempt at doing landscape with the Zorn palette, but I felt it was just too limiting, so I added the blue. I may yet add a couple more colors as I bring this to finish, but I like the neutral tones and the overall consistency of the colors so far. We shall see. A painting always seems to take on a life of it's own and sometimes you have to follow your gut and listen to what the work tells you. Sometimes the road map only points you in the direction you think you want to go, not that spectacular place that you only get to see if you venture off a little.
Sorry for the inconsistent lighting on the left of the photo. In case you are wondering, the 36" x 60" gallery wrap canvas was prepared with four coats of acrylic gesso that I pounce on with a 2" beat up house painting brush, sanding in between coats, followed by burnt sienna acrylic applied with a kitchen sponge. Preliminary drawing is charcoal which was drawn with the help of 12" grid lines. Not as accurate as a projector, but it lets me get the feel for the scale of the canvas. I will update as the painting progresses.

6 comments:

Brad Teare said...

This is a great one!

Greg Newbold said...

Thanks Brad. Always a little nervous tackling something bigger than my previous big painting, but it's been fun so far.

Amy said...

I think that transition from small to large must be difficult! However, you are off to a great start. I love the lighting in the study. Such a beautiful mountain.

Greg Newbold said...

Thanks Amy. It's a bit of a switch, to scale up this large, but mostly just bigger brushes and more paint. And trying to back up far enough to take it all in.

Q. Cassetti said...

Wow,Greg....this is a beaut.

Greg Newbold said...

Thanks Q- I think it might be the best of my landscapes so far- time will tell as I finish it up. Sorry I missed you on your trip out west! Next time.