My last landscape painting is from a photo, taken almost 30 years ago, of a backpacking trip that I took in the Smokey Mountains.
The person in the photo was my boyfriend at the time, but I wanted the painting to indicate myself as the traveler walking along the path. One problem that I saw as I first began the painting was the large amount of greens in the photo. As many of you know, green is a very difficult color to take when in large quantities. Through a study of many other landscapes and a tutorial on one of the ArtistnetworkTV videos, I learned that both adding warm colors and underpainting with warm colors would lesson the impact of the greens. So, I underpainted the entire image with orange tones and added some yellow ochres to the final layer. I also hoped to break up the greens by adding the pink magnolia bushes.
In this slideshow, (Click here to watch) I have shown the various stages of this painting, from the orange underpainting to the final version.
I colored the woman’s shirt red so that, as a compliment to green, the woman would show up in the focal point. I placed her and the magnolias to the left of her in the area of one of the golden ratio spots on the canvas. I let the painting sit for over a week before I added in the sun rays. I realized that I love sun rays in landscapes that I like, so I thought I could enhance my painting by including them.
You can find out these prime areas for focal points by either dividing the length and width in thirds and placing the focal point at one of the four intersections of the lines.
You can also do it by measuring in 5/8, from the left side, of the canvas width and drawing a vertical line to the top; disguard the created square. Then measure 5/8 of the line just drawn and make a horizontal line to the right at that point; disguard the square. Divide that line into 5/8 and 3/8 segments such that the square is on the outside edge, draw the line and disgard the square. Continue to divide each new line into 5/8 and 3/8 segments, each time doing so such that you can disgard the square made. See diagram. You can change the end point by beginning at a different edge of the canvas.