This is the second post about the Proko Landscape Thumbnails challenge. The challenge was to submit five landscape paintings, each 2 inches wide by 2 inches tall.
I started this painting off wanting to paint trees in the distance using wet-in-wet. I tend to do this often, but in my mind, there is this technique that should work, that I haven’t been able to figure out yet. I think I’m going to dedicate some time to figuring it out. My idea is: paint a line of thick pigment at the horizon. Then, paint clean water across the sky, and just tap it into the line of pigment in a few places. The thick pigment should wick up into the sky via osmosis, and give the impression of trees. In my mind, this would look different from the trees that I get when I just paint a grey blob onto wet paper. That gives me the effect of trees in the distance, and helps create a lot of mood, but it provides essentially zero texture. What I’m after is something between that, and the effect you get when you add salt to a wet wash.
The first five thumbnails are me trying to achieve that, and failing. I almost got something like what I’m after with the cauliflower in the sixth thumbnail, but ultimately it was just making mud. So, I gave up halfway through the sixth thumbnail.
7 8 9 10 11 12
Then, I imagined a painting of hillsides – like the ones I see on the side of the highway as I drive down to the Jesse Owens State Park camp grounds in the summer. I wanted to ignore the foreground, and just render the hillsides, because I thought that might make an interesting composition. These ended up feeling too flat – like someone had cut two sheets of paper, and held them up in front of each other. There was really no depth at all, and I decided that I needed a foreground afterall.
13 14 15 16 17 18
In the first six versions I tried different colors in the sky. I tend to really like my skies in paintings, and so I thought maybe I could make one where the sky was a big focal point. But, ultimately the trees were too dark, and ended up taking all the focus. So, I decided just lean into it, and try to make the painting all about those trees.
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48
Once those were finished, I painted the final version, which I am reasonably happy with.