swamp painting progress report


Half finished

It’s real nice painting outside when it’s in the 40s F. (cool for my Celsius reading friends) Not too many people walk across the overlook distracting me. My attention span seems to last around 2 hours. When I can see I’ve made some progress I start to feel the cold. I’m wearing layers, but standing still, except to sit on a cold bench sometimes for a break.

I went there twice this week and stayed 2 hours each time and got the background under control and started on the trees on the right. Tomorrow they’re calling for cloudy weather. That’s ok, I’d like to wait a day or so for this paint to dry before I go over it again. Giving a layer of paint time to dry helps eliminate the problem of “muddy colors” because you can put a warmer glaze over a cooler one,  cooler to warmer, lighter or darker, any direction you want it to go without mixing the paint on the canvas. Instead the viewers eye mixes the colors and sees a brighter gray, green, brown, orange, whatever.  That’s one trick to avoid muddy colors.

Another trick to remember is not to mix the colors with your paintbrush. Mix the colors with a palette knife on the palette. Keeping the colors clean, even if they’re gray. For this you need a brush for each color. Mixing colors with a brush on the canvas causes muddy colors, though I think artists worry too much about mud. (mud is part of nature)  Those two things make a difference to the eye of a trained art viewer.

We might get some rain next week. Hopefully, I can get back out there on Sat. or Sun. to work on this. If we get a few days of rain I’ll have to put this aside and find another project to amuse myself.


12 thoughts on “swamp painting progress report”

    1. hi Sarah,
      Glazing is when the paint goes on thinner and you build up layers. Watercolorists do glazes and you can glaze with oil paint too.
      Ceramic glazes are a different type, once glazed and fired to make them adhere to the clay and make them shiny and hard.
      This kind of oil paint glaze is made by “painting in the couch” when you put clear medium on the dry canvas and paint into the medium. The medium “couches” the paint. The medium makes the surface slick, and you thin the paint with terpenoid on the brush. It can be more transparent this way but you can put a thick glaze on too, which works for the final coat. That way the thinner glazes recede in the background and a thick glaze makes the viewer’s eye go to the foreground or focal points. It’s an old school academic technique to give the illusion of depth. Not many artists alive today do glazing with oil paint. It’s a slower process and not taught in art schools.
      Thanks for your interest in the process and thanks about the painting!


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