I'm about to embark on a corporate commission that consists of 8 large paintings. The first one is a 4x8ft triptych of a Kamloops scene. Artists start by finding images that excite them. For this one the subject was the Peterson Creek Bridge. On the first non smokey day I grabbed my husband and camera and headed for the hills! The first batch of photos I realized was on the wrong side of the creek so on the next non smokey day... repeat on the other side! Bingo, the perfect vista I envisioned! (of course some artistic lisence is required).
After a small sketch was rendered I transferred the image using the graph system. I went over the drawing with Raw Umber and a paint brush. Raw umber dries quickly. Two days later I had a solid compositional map in which I could with confidence, paint.
I chose Red, cool to warm to tone the canvas because I love warmth peaking through, its greens complement and the focal point is the red bridge! Tube colours used: Anthraquinone Red, Quinacridone Red and Chinese Orange (all transparent) thinned with Gamsol.
My favouite way to paint in wet into wet, Alla Prima so edges and hues can be mingled together. I find painting clean fresh colours side by side allows vibrancy. Oils are beautiful to work with but you can create muddy dull mixes quickly so keeping your mixes to 2-3 colors is the key. I create my own earth tones with Cadmium yellow, transparent iron oxide and ultramarine blue, cooling then down with white where needed. I have a brilliant purple ready to grey yellow mixtures. I find tube earth colours dull such as yellow ochre and burnt sienna.
On day one I blocked in background hills trying to keep the values close to the photo yet using colours pleasing to me (always more vibrant!). Once dry I can glaze pure transparent hues to adjust the values and colours.
Debbie Milner Lively- AFCA
I've been a professional artist for the past 20 years. I can say the journey has been amazing!