I’m a member of the “Australian Studio Painters” group at Facebook. Every few weeks they post a new reference photo so that we can a) paint it, and b) learn from how everyone else paints it. I’ve been meaning to join in for a while and the challenge photo this time was too inspiring to miss!
I decided to try the underpainting technique that Stephanie Hock uses (a while ago she was kind and generous enough to send me work-in-progress photos of one of her paintings to teach me how to do it). In short, you underpaint with complementary colours. I also made sure my values were fairly correct at this stage. Here’s how the underpainting looked (sorry about the glare);
While this dried I had lunch but I was already very excited and couldn’t wait to get back to it! So far I had only used White, Black, Cadmium Orange and Anthraquinone Blue. I thought perhaps I’d be able to stick to just those, but ended up needing to add Yellow Ochre, Hansa Yellow and Burnt Umber in order to be able to express the range of orange tones in the trees.
Below is the end result. You can see the underpainting poking through all over the place when you’re close to the painting, but it vanishes once you’re a few feet away.
I’m thrilled with how this turned out. It’s a while since I did a painting this size (20×16″) in one day!