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Renaissance Techniques Create a Mountain Scene

The fog rolls in on a misty morning walk around Mt. Si, in the Snoqualmie Valley, WA.     Last blog post I showed you the underpainting for this painting done with one color, Shale, from Vasari.  It’s purplish umber color is neutral enough that it can go either warm or cool.  For this painting I chose a cool color harmony.

Let me describe the steps to create this painting.  To start out,  I glazed in a very light blue layer for the mountains and let it dry.  Then, I laid in an opaque layer  for the sky, using white and naples yellow, with a touch of transparent orange.   Next,  I painted the trees with transparent paints, glazing layer over dry layer.  After that, I adjusted colors and temperatures with velaturas and scumbles.  The last step was brushing the sky color over the tops of the trees, shrouding them in fog.

The many layers of transparent and translucent paint help to create a luminous quality that I like.  As the light passes through the transparent layers it hits the white canvas panel and refracts back out.  The refraction creates a “vibration” between the colors.

This technique of laying down many layers of transparent and translucent paint is not a new technique.  During the 14th century many artists used the techniques of Master artist, Titian, known to apply as many as 30 or more layers of paint.

( Yet Unnamed ), 12″ x12″, oil on linen