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Art Masterclass - 73


October 2012

Autumn on the Kilham RoadFrom The Artist, the monthly magazine for amateur and semi-professional painters, giving practical instruction in painting and drawing in watercolour, pastels and oils, as well as news of art events, exhibitions and competitions open to leisure artists;





Paint an Autumn Landscape in the Yorkshire Wolds

by Tony Hogan



Autumn on the Kilham Road

Autumn on Kilham Road, Atelier Interactive Acrylics on primed cotton canvas, (51x76cm)


You will need:
Pre-stretched and triple-primed cotton canvas 20x30in. (51x76cm)
Long flat synthetic acrylic brushes, Nos. 4, 8, 10 and 12
Round No. 2
Hog fan No. 4
Atelier Interactive Acrylics
Tinting white
Titanium white
Indigo blue/black
Pacific blue
Cobalt blue
Naples yellow
Jaune brilliant
Cadmium yellow medium
Yellow ochre
Dioxin purple
Quinacridone magenta
Burnt umber
Red gold
Madder brown
Olive green
Permanent sap green
Green black
Permanent green light
Atomizer spray with water
Stay-wet palette
Lots of old rag

Step 1

Step 1 - Indigo WashI have several approaches when starting a painting, which indicate themselves to me at the point of creation. In this instance I began with a wash of indigo over the entire canvas then used a wipe-back technique to establish the basic composition of the view. Aspects of this will be moved as the painting develops but a first composition is required when I don’t make my usual preparatory sketches. By using Atelier Interactive Acrylics it was easy to use the wipe-back technique with a wet rag for the main masses and a clean brush for the finer lines. Traditionally, if this had been painted in oils, I would have had to use a rag soaked in white spirit.

Step 2

Step 2: Establish sky colourWith most landscapes, I start establishing the first colour of the sky, which controls the rest of the light in the painting. When working with this unique form of acrylic, by applying an overall coat of tinting white (also known as pearling white) to a reasonable depth, it allows me to blend in a host of other colours easily as I would do with oil paint.


Step 3

Step 4: Light ConditionsAfter looking and studying the different hues and tones as the early morning light brightened the sky, I started to establish the palette that would be carried throughout the painting. As quickly as possible I blocked in the red golds, yellows, greens, purples and madder brown colours in different areas to ensure the overall balance works.


Step 4

Step 3: Establish paletteWhen creating work outdoors you are always challenged with light conditions affecting the colours as you see them. The change can be very rapid during an early morning in autumn and you have to choose to stay with the first hues and tones or move with the shift of colours. Normally I would stay with my first impressions, but in this work I chose to move rapidly when the sky suddenly exploded with delicate warm tones as the morning light strengthened in the distance. This became a must for me to capture.

Step 5

Step 5: Tinting and pearlingThe sky was a major aspect of the painting at this stage. Even though I knew the trees would dominate eventually, I wanted to place this delicate yet exciting morning light. This involved working with the tinting (pearling) white in areas then blending in jaune brilliant, Pacific blue, Naples yellow, a little dioxian purple, a little madder brown and a little red gold. Keeping the paint active over a long period was easily achieved using the atomizer spray.

Step 6

Step 6: Establish dark areasAt last I was able to begin establishing the dark areas, shapes and location of some of the trees. Also at this stage I introduced early painting of the distant trees and bushes where the rising sun caught the edges, giving both highlight and the dark shadow side life.



Step 7

Step 7: IlluminationThe morning light was really illuminating the left side of the view and the chance came to grab the positions and highlight the sides of the trees on the left by introducing the lighter trunks and shadow side of foliage. All the time flashes of light were brought into play around the whole work with particular attention given to the middle area of the road at this time.


Step 8

Step 8: Paint the coloursMore work on all areas, in particular the shadow side of the trees to the left and the highlights on the trees to the right, were now critical. It was also time to paint the colours, light and shade of the roadside and hedges. Next came the small sliver of field on the right, just visible above the sparse broken hawthorn hedge and, finally, the first dark tones on the foreground right-hand tree.

Step 9

Step 9: Shadows and foliageI introduced long, low morning shadows across the road as they appeared more visible to the eye. I studied the shadows for quite some time, looking through the first apparent grey tones to see the true colour, which is far more exciting and harmonises with the overall palette of the work. The foliage on the trees was painted, repainted and repainted again with the warm colours. At the same time I constantly tweaked the light and shadow areas already established, bringing even more of the morning sunrise to the work.

Step 10

Step 10: Last touches

Autumn on Kilham Road, Atelier Interactive Acrylics on primed cotton canvas, (51x76cm)

With a few more spots of paint, looking especially for the sunlight hues to bring contrast and depth to the work I completed the painting then stood back to view and consider if I was happy with this work. It was eventually completed over a two-week period. This involved lots of painting and reworking into previously painted areas, which Atelier Interactive Acrylics made possible. And, in conclusion, I do feel rising from my bed before dawn for this work of art was worth the effort.

Finishing off
As with all acrylics you will notice some shrinkage as the work dries, making the painting look flatter than when first painted and often slightly darker in tone. It is possible to reduce some of this by the use of a medium while painting, but I prefer to wait until the work is completely dry (at least two to three days) then varnish with Atelier Interactive satin varnish/medium. My preference is a satin varnish, but others might choose matt or gloss varnish. If you are recording for publication or your own files, ensure you photograph the painting prior to varnishing it. Doing so afterwards can cause patina or light reflection, distorting the photograph. It is best to do this while the work is still wet before shrinkage or darkening takes place.

This feature was taken from The Leisure Painter, subscription information can be found here.



The Leisure Painter



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