This is the landscape I was working on a few weeks ago. The client was giving it as a gift, so I’ve held back on posting about it.
I started out with a few thumbnail sketches that I sent to the client. The bottom right was approved so I got to work.
I toned the canvas with burnt sienna. It’s one of my favorite colors, and it make for nice temperature contrast when you are painting a lot of cool colors over it.
I tend to paint pretty thin. I usually move across the painting filling in areas at medium finish and then going back over it for details. That, of course only works because I sketched in the composition first. When painting from life, it works better for me to bring the whole painting up together, rather than moving across it.
As I have been saying in some of my recent posts, I am working on building miniature sets and models to create a series of illustrations. This image isn’t from that series, but it was a sort of test run to see if the concept was a valid way for me to work. I also wanted to try submitting something in that style to the Society of Illustrators Student Competition. It just so happened that the day I started working on the image was also the deadline for the competition. that means I had to finish it in a matter of hours and get it photographed before the sun went down.
I ended up cutting a lot of corners on the construction. I had to give him a bundle of dowels to carry instead of the rifle I had been planning on making. I was also planning on photographing him at a frozen lake. Unfortunately, the road to the lake was closed for construction. I decided I would try to take some shots next to the railroad tracks where I had stopped. I was soon sent away by a railroad worker who informed me that I was trespassing and might distress the train engineers because, apparently, people who wander near railroad tracks sometimes have tragic intentions. The light was then failing and I decided my only option was to cross the valley and drive up the mountain to a point where the sun would still reach me. I did and this is one of the shots I got (magical sparkles added for emphasis).
Anyway, it wasn’t accepted to the Society show, but I had a good time making it, and learned some things that are proving useful in my current endeavors.