Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cascade step 10

Step 10: Finished!

Sorry for the long absence.  Life has been crazy with waves of work and preparations for IlluXCon.  I had my first real booth at any convention there this year and it was an absolute blast!  After a year's worth of work I was finally able to unveil the finished painting :)

I did mean to post more WiPs as I progressed with oils... but... well...

Doing the acrylic underpainting as detailed as I had was probably unnecessary, as I ended up covering up most of what was there pretty entirely by the end.  Especially in the sky, which, as you can imagine, did not turn the color I needed through simple glazings.  Lessons for next time... leave the sky alone until oils if the color difference is so stark or use ultramarine instead of umber for those portions.

Glazing was much more successful in the lower, warmer areas of the background although the only parts where the acrylic really shows through now is in the rocks, island masses, and highlighted portions of the waterfalls.

Between scumbling, glazing, and varying amounts of opaque paint there are dozens and dozens of layers over the whole thing.  I'm a big fan of Winsor Newton's fast-drying oils, generally using just linseed oil to thin them out when needed.  They're dry (or at least enough to work over) within a few hours.  For me that's more valuable than painting wet into wet, but it does mean repainting anything that doesn't come out right.  This made doing the clouds especially difficult, but considering they are my favorite subject matter to paint I was okay doing it again and again.

In all this was a HUGE learning experience.  It gave me the opportunity to try a lot of new things and I feel a lot more confident in approaching future paintings.  It's become a pretty personal piece as a result and I'm quite pleased with the finish.  Enough so that it's hanging over my TV :)

Thanks to everyone who helped along the way offering criticisms, suggestions, compliments, and encouragements.  There are too many to name, but I truly appreciate your continued support!


  1. Wow, that came out AWESOME. I can really see the whale influence in his face now, the way his mouth curves up and down. He looks very disapproving. I don't think I'd want to face the full brunt of his disapproval. :-)

    I hope you do more step by steps on this blog! They're absolutely fascinating, and you'll gradually get a following. It does take a year or so to build up a solid reader base. :-)

  2. Nice work man. I've been looking forward to seeing this finished for a while now :)

    What Kessie said - More step by steps if you can manage! Very helpful and interesting.

  3. This work is featured on our "Everything Awesome" Blog. http://interestingawesome.tumblr.com/post/12644517393/simply-awesome-oil-painting-by-the-concept-artist

  4. You should post a picture of this hanging. Im kinda interested lol

  5. Great work man, I loved your presentation at RISD yesterday. Looks amazing in person.