Exercise: Creating mood and atmosphere (2)


View from Spoletto, 33 x 31 cm, acrylics


Original aerial perspective painting of the valley

I thought I’d go back to my aerial perspective picture to see if I could recreate this in a more expressive way. My original painting with its misty effect felt a bit dull and flat. I wondered if I could bring some life to it and create a painting bathed in the warmth of the Umbrian sun.

Having been encouraged with my gesso experiment I thought I’d try the technique. After I had applied the textured gesso, I painted a bright orange ground, then used brighter more sunlit colours for the scene and, when dry, sanded and scraped away to reveal the orange ground and white gesso.


Earlier, less sanded version – the buildings were too prominent.

Oh my goodness, my landscape is now on fire. I have gone from one extreme to the other and now I find the orange and gesso texture overwhelming.  However, I still feel there is potential in this technique as there are elements of my painting that work, the hills and sky in particular. A different ground colour, such as a warm yellow, might have been more successful and more in line with my original ‘sunlit’ aim.

I feel this technique would work with a scene that is pure landscape without the trappings of human occupation – sand and sea, land and forest etc.

It’s good to have had a go… even if this painting hasn’t turned out as intended… there is something in the approach but it needs considerably more subtle handling.


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