Laurel Daniel (featured in the art video workshops Oil Painting for Beginners and Outdoor Painting Basics) finds inspiration in the landscapes around her. Here she shares with us how she works through her process and shows us how she painted a new painting, “Flowers of the Field.”
Painting en Plein Air: “Flowers of the Field”
BY LAUREL DANIEL
In general, I work dark to light, thin to thick, dry to juicy, and simple to complex. I find that sticking to these principles is the best way to get oil paint to do what I want it to do.
Below are process shots of “Flowers of the Field,” 12 x 16 in., oil on panel, plein air:
1. Placement: My start was a loose sketch for placement and composition.
2. Block-In: Building on that initial sketch, I paid close attention to form and value. (That yellow stain is a placeholder for flowers that will come later.)
3. Uprights: Working dark to light, I painted the foreground uprights first. Then I moved to the distant uprights, muting them down to make them recede into the atmosphere.
4. Ground plane and sky plane: Next, I added the ground plane and sky plane. Since value and color are relative, it’s important to constantly compare and adjust to make all the parts work.
5. Finish: Finishing the piece included muting the distant uprights even more and popping the highlights on the foreground elements. I always save those marks for the end so I can key them off what is happening in the rest of the painting.
6. Here is a shot from my easel … parked ever so coolly in the shade!