Kucko Bridge: #1

Welp, here’s another one I really don’t want to show… but it’s part of the process.

I saw this photo when Troy shared it a few days ago. I asked John Kucko if he wouldn’t mind me painting it, and he agreed to let me. (Thanks!) I certainly didn’t do his photo any justice, but I did learn a few things.

1) I was more restrained with the masking fluid. It worked reasonably well on the waterfall, but I need to not mask the cliffs, because I think the dry brush and cold-pressed paper do a good job of alluding to the textures in the photo.

There is a very noticeable tangential line on the left-hand side, which I don’t see in the photo. I’m certain it appears such a problem in my recreation because I need to do a better job with the value contrast.

I also explored using a mister to soften edges in the distance. I need to continue exploring that – I like the effect, but I’m not controlled enough with the spray, and I end up blurring all the edges, or none of them. I would like to only blur some of the edges. Maybe I need a spray bottle with a finer mist.

The colors in my painting feel very, very wrong. I think it’s partly because I am referencing a print of the photo, and the print itself isn’t great because I just printed the image straight from Facebook. Obviously the resolution isn’t very high grabbing straight from FB, so I ended up guessing a bit more than I’m comfortable with. That resulted in me being insecure about parts of the composition, which I then blasted with the spray bottle before they stained in. Do that once or maybe twice and it’s ok – but I made the mistake far too many times, and I ruined the composition.

I also need to better capture the light. In the distance, I need more warm tones to show where the sun is striking the exposed cliff faces, and need to cool down the shadows. Right now – it’s all very much one tone, and it looks boring as a result.

Masking the snow worked, I’ll need to try that again.

I tried to freehand the bridge and train. Every other element of the painting is organic, and captain shakey fingers over here can hide in the organic shapes. But when it comes to the straight and parallel) lines, I need to get some help. Maybe I’ll build a frisket, that will take some time, but I should get the straight lines I’m after.

The train itself is both too detailed, and not representational enough. I need to edit the appearance of the train to make it look moving.

I’m also getting pretty tired, so I’m gonna go to sleep and try this one again later.

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