I begin by finding a site, something that I can visualize as a painting, select a focus, the remainder of the painting will be painted in relationship to the focus so as to direct the viewer to the focus or center of interest. Then I loosely arrange in my mind the elements on the painting surface, the composition.
Next I begin the painting by loosely painting in the major shapes in a linear fashion. Then I begin the masses by painting in a large known quantity, usually the sky, painting from back to front, background to foreground, thin in the shadows, thick in the light and leaving details for the last stages.
To elaborate on this process, watch the video below as I identify my location and demonstrate some of the techniques I refer to above.
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Eisele Gallery of Fine Art