How do I start my new oil painting of a summer dawn in the mountains of The Ogwen Valley, Snowdonia, North Wales?
For this painting of Tryfan and The Glyders, I first make a light pencil sketch on the paper (in this case Clairefontaine oil special paper). I then use a flexible acrylic brush to sketch the mountains with ridges and shadows showing not forgetting to add Snowdon peeking over the ridge. When this is dry its time to paint the sky using naples yellow, alizarin crimson, cobalt blue and to achieve the lightness of a dawn sky loads of titanium white. Using a large flat brush I keep blending this until the right balance of colour is there. Allow to dry again.
During painting this oil, I have used Winsor and Newton Alkyd Quick drying oils, I find these dry overnight. Liquin is also a good medium to use to blend the sky and allow the paint to flow.
On to stage two which involves painting the mountain range again with more detail. At this stage I have painted the peaks of Snowdon in a light purple colour to give the impression of distance. Allow this to dry.
The exciting bit is next, this means I am paintng the final details and shadows of the mountain range, taking care to ensure all the ridges, corries (here they are cwms) and important rock formations are included. These are the essence of the mountains and make them such a magical place to be. The foreground is also very important in this work as I am standing on Pen yr Ole Wen looking across the Ogwen valley to Tryfan, The Glyders and Y Garn. I have used the rocks and boulders of the summit to emphasis the distance across the valley to the Welsh mountain range
Hopefully finished, and another masterpiece completed! I have looked at these various stages and wonder if I should have stopped painting sooner, even at stage one. Just placed a little more emphasis on the light and shade at that time.