Tuesday, November 25, 2008



8x4 inch Plein Air Painting
by Tom Brown
To purchase this painting, email me at tombrownstudio@cox.net.

I thought it would be interesting today to show another plein air painting in the process of being created, as I did last week. For this painting I worked on a gray toned panel. My first step was to sketch the big shapes using thinned paint and then establish my darkest darks as shown below.
I next established the lightest lights of the painting, which was the sky area. This established the full range of values that would be used in this piece (see below).

With those elements defined, I worked back-to-front in the landscape. In the image below you can see how I began working on the background, being careful to keep the values more subdued than the darks of the foreground tree.

Continuing to work forward I completed the land and roadway to capture the morning light and shadow pattern as seen here. At the stage shown below it was merely a matter of completing the main foreground tree and other foliage on the right. The finished painting is seen at the top of today’s post.

Let me know if you enjoyed this little glance over my shoulder as I painted on location. Comments are always welcome.

Today’s happy thought:
First light of day


Blogger James said...

I always enjoy your demos, Tom. I like this composition with the signal light in a strong location balanced by the large trees.

When working like this do you think in the "4 planes" or some other structured approach to plan the values, or are you mainly reacting to what you see.

Thanks for sharing your process.

12:19 PM  
Blogger policemisconduct2003 said...

Wow, it reminds me of Maxfeild Parish. It has all of Parish in half of the theater. I've spend hours looking at Parish paintings wondering how to reduct them to un-overworked subjects, and voi la, there you have it. There is too much going on in Parish, you sort of die of exaustion from looking at it. It's like the Wizard of Ozz of painting, it's far too much smoke and mirrors. (James sounds intelligent, what a nice surprise, I always feel like I have to sit in the back with my mouth closed because my IQ us too high and I don't fit in, I wonder if James ever gets the feeling that nothing is going on, and therefore he can't be a part of it. After about two minutes in any given situation, I get that creepy feeling that I have reached the dolldrums once again. Or is it dulldroms. anyway I agree about the single light sourse, and the introduction of it in one strong spash of foreground. Wow, that is really gorgeous. It's a shame that we have to reduct what we see to a formula, sometimes I do, just to experience the dicipline, but usually I am reactionary,and let my visual senses dictate my work. I don't explain this to people, and as a consequence they think that I am an idiot savant. Tee Hee. As if I would have to be really stupid to work with such sponteniety, and yet brilliant to pull it off with such sophistication. It's more like gorging on great pastry though, I just enjoy what I see, and I love to represent it. Which i why you are so much my superior, hmm, I think in the future I will pay more attention to methodology.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Laurel Daniel said...

Hey Tom, I love to visit your blog and found this demo particularly inspiring and informative!! I am also "tagging" you in a game of blog-tag to demonstrate my admiration. :) The rules are on my blog - enjoy.

7:01 PM  
Blogger littlej said...

Hello Tom,

Thank you for sharing the thought process and technique for the lovely finished painting.

You are truly inspiring.

8:29 PM  

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