I spent quite a bit of time on the initial sketch for this because I want a lot of detail in the final piece. I used the old tried and true method of making a grid for my sketch so I can break the entire painting up into smaller sections. I haven’t used a grid in years but it’s almost a necessity on this type of project.
After the sketch was done, I used clear gesso over the entire canvas. Not only does this prevent the graphite sketch from bleeding into the paint, it also gives a great “tooth” to the canvas for the oils.
Sessions 1 & 2
To get started, I first painted the sky area with a clear oil paint. This helps to provide a wet background for blending and making soft edges. The tooth added by the clear gesso makes it possible to have this wet surface and yet still have enough tooth to pull the oil paints off the brush easily.
After the clear, I dropped in the sky, using primarily cobalt blue (+white &/or black).
A couple days later, I blocked in the mountain range. I still have a bit of color adjusting to do, but this is enough to get things really rolling along.
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