Sunday, January 24, 2016

"Summer at the Bud Ogle Cabin" – Roaring Fork Motor Loop, Great SmokyMountains

"Summer at the Bud Ogle Cabin" – Roaring Fork Motor Loop, Great Smoky Mountains

 I usually do watercolor paintings; however, the painting above is an acrylic.  I enjoy using different medium at times to expand my painting skills.  Plus, often paintings just seem to lend themselves to one medium over the other.

I would have loved to have been able to paint this one plein air, but my schedule does not always allow time for plein air painting.  My husband constantly tells me I plan more things for a 24 hours period than 24 hours allow…even if I did not sleep!  So, I reluctantly took a photo on my cell phone and saved this painting literally for a “rainy” day! 

The painting above is an acrylic on canvas.   Let’s get started painting!

 Materials needed:
Canvas – I used a 16 x 20 stretched canvas. 
  • Flat Brush
  • Palette Knife
  • Round brush
Acrylic paints:  A basic set of acrylic paints which may include the following colors:
  • Hookers Green
  • Sap Green
  • Brunt Umber
  • Mars Black
  • Titanium White
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Raw Sienna
  • Alizarin Crimson
Note:  The paint list is large; however, this painting can be achieved with a basic set of acrylic paints. 

 This painting is predominately green; all shades of green from the background trees to the foreground grasses.   Before we start painting, I wanted to share some tips on painting with green. 

Green Paint Tips:
Vivid greens can be easy to mix, but often need to be toned down or they dominate the painting.  Greens can be adjusted as follows:

·        Add a little red (or pink) to the green mix.

·        Try to mix greens from a mixture of two colors rather than using a premixed green. 

·        When making your green, try not to use a bright yellow and a bright blue. 

Here are some paints to mix together to make some excellent greens:

·        Burnt umber & Cadmium yellow light

·        Prussian blue & Yellow ochre

·        Ivory black & Cadmium yellow light

·        Ultramarine blue & Yellow ochre

·        Ultramarine blue & Cadmium yellow light

·        Phthalo blue (Green) & Cadmium yellow light

·        Phthalo blue (Green) & Hansa yellow (sometimes called Lemon yellow)

Play around with these color combinations and different greens before you start your painting to find the colors that you would like to use.

There are some good premixed greens out there can be purchase and used “straight” from the tube.  I especially like Sap Green.  It can be lightened with yellow ochre and deepened with Ultramarine blue. 

Brown Paint Tips:
Since the cabin in painted in shades of brown and gray, I wanted to provide some tips on mixing brown paint as well.  The following are color combinations to create a variety of shades of brown:

·        Mix red and yellow to make orange.  Add small amounts of blue to the orange to create brown.

·        Mix yellow and blue to make green.  Add small amounts of red to the green to create brown.

·        Mix red and blue to make purple.  Add small amount of yellow to the purple to create brown.

Trying these different combinations will create various shades of brown. 

Painting Instructions:
Sketch the drawing on the canvas with minimal details.    Finding the placement for the cabin on the canvas and getting the perspective correct for the alignment of the roof, porch, etc.  is the main focus in your sketch.    

Using a mix of Cerulean Blue and white, lay in the sky from the top all the way down to the horizon even though the majority of the sky will be hidden by the trees.    Focus your attention on the areas of the sky that will be seen at the top of the painting.    Laying down your sky behind the trees will allow bits of the sky to show threw the leaves of the trees and also give you a base for your greens.   Allow this to dry before starting to paint the trees.

Mix a variety of shades of green before you start painting as you will use various shades as you paint the trees putting in light and shadow as well as species’ color differences.    Paint the trees by scrubbing in the paint in circle shapes as well as dabbing in various locations.  Work these until you are pleased with the color and shape.  Deepen the green with Ultramarine blue as well as a touch of black to the deepest area of green in the background.  Allow to dry.  Branches and tree trunks will be added later.

I painted the cabin in this order:  roof, sides/front, chimney, porch posts, window/door.  However, the order is not important; work in the order that best suits your painting style. 

The entire cabin and roof are painted with the same colors of paint, only the intensity varied.  I started with a light muddy shade of a gray/brown in which gray (white and black) was added to brown.  Using my painting as a guide, paint the cabin with various shades of brown/gray using a flat brush and painting the direction of the logs.   Allow this to dry and using  a flat brush, stroke across the logs to give the logs a wood grain.  Deepen the color between the logs for shadows as well as the area under the porch.  A very light tan, almost white, was used to highlight the logs as well as the roof in various places. 

Paint the door and window with a very dark brown with a little black added.  Allow to dry and paint the wood slats around the window in a light tan.  Use this same color on the porch posts. 

Shaky hand?  Straight lines on the window and porch a problem?  First, remember that the lines don’t need to be perfect; however, if you need a little help, try one of these tips:

·        Place a study piece of paper at a 45 degree angle along the edge of where you would like your line, use a small amount of paint and pull your brush across the area.  A ruler can also be used for the straight edge.  Remember to clean the ruler or use a different piece of paper for each new line. 

·        Often a shaky hand is due to the fact that the hand is not supported when painting since you can’t place your hand on the wet paint to stabilize it and you lack control.   If you can support your arm or hand on the outside of your painting, you will gain control and it will easier to paint a straight line.  Artist use what is called a “bridge” or any sort of straight piece of wood, metal or plastic that is raised up so that it does not rest on the painting, but is wide enough on which to rest your hand.  

The rocks in the fireplace are painted using some of the same color paints.  Vary the paint in the shape of the rock painting each one separately.

Foreground grasses:
This photo was taken during the summer when the grasses were tall and had not been cut recently.  They were a variety of shades from a deep green to a light yellow/gold.  I started at the horizon and worked forward.  Check the photo to see where and what color to paint the grass.  I laid down a base coat of paint, then came back in with the edge of a flat brush to pull up tall pieces of grass.  These grass shoots were pulled up on to the sides and front of the cabin in various locations. 

Finishing Details:
I placed a tree branch cross the right side of the cabin to “ground” the cabin to the landscape.  Look over the rest of your painting and add highlight or touches of color here and there as needed.

Congratulations!  Sign your name; your painting is complete. 

Happy Painting!



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