Yesterday was the Seventh Annual Great Rhinebeck Paint Out. It was a crisp sunny day, a little past peak fall color, with a temperature around 40 degrees F. I'm a wimp, so I had full long underwear. I'm using an Open Box M pochade box.
One of you asked for a step-by-step, so on this post you can follow along.
First, here's a photo of the motif: a view to the east of the village of Rhinebeck. It's a very busy subject, but I like the strong leading lines of the road and the soft gray mass of trees in the center.
I started on an 11x14 sky panel, oil primed with a blue gradation. The blue color helped in two ways. First I had an approximation of the sky color already established with dry paint, so I could work delicate detail over it. Also, the blue was a nice complementary color to lay beneath the warm autumn-colors.
The first step was to draw in the main lines and shapes with a bristle brush and burnt sienna oil pigment. Note the horizontal eye level line, even though I can't see the actual horizon. The brown dot in the middle of the road at right center is the vanishing point for the sloping street lines of the foreground.
I oiled up the sky with Liquin to make it more receptive to overpainting. I put in some light feathery cirrus clouds, and a pale glow along the horizon. Then I started softly stating the dry branches. and other details against the sky.
At this stage I needed to figure out the overall light statement. At first I planned to put the foreground in shadow, but that left the middle ground too busy with competing interest. So I established an illuminated foreground, shadowed middle ground, and light distance. This gives a feeling of passing clouds and draws interest to the activity of the far intersection.
I carried the lines of the road to that vanishing point you saw earlier. For lines like this I used a mahl stick to balance my hand.
Here's the finished painting "Light at the Crossroads." The 3 o'clock deadline was looming, so I scrambled to resolve the unfinished areas. On the left side, the houses are stated fairly broadly, which in the end probably helps accentuate the confetti of the intersection.
By 4:00 it was hanging at the event space. It's behind the light, next to the painting of Vanderbilt I did with Erik Tiemens last summer, reworked on the spot last week with fall colors. A painting by Keith Gunderson is below mine.
Previous Gurney Journey posts: Sky panels, Sky blue, Illuminated foreground, Mahl stick, Confetti, Vanderbilt Vista, Complementary priming color.