Exercise: Creating mood and atmosphere (2)

expressive-toned-down

View from Spoletto, 33 x 31 cm, acrylics

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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.

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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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