One thing I don’t think I have ever talked much about is my technique.  So here are some thoughts of process…. Most of my paintings are on panel, though occasionally I use canvas.  Panel, with it’s rigidity, works a little better with the weight of the paint and pressure used while applying it.  I start with a panel primed with acrylic, usually I use a warm orange or red.  With a white pencil I gently sketch out the composition.  In my mind I map out the color relationships based on what I see.  Whether painting en plein air or in the studio, I look for interesting color patterns and plan if there are any I will exaggerate for dramatic effect.

To begin painting, I start with the sky.  I mix the color using a palette knife.  This color is most critical as it sets the tone of the rest of the painting.  I often spend a long time mixing this color until I am satisfied.  Because my work is small, I often pick it up off the easel.  I spread the paint on with a knife, using the knife’s edge to define the horizon.  It is like spreading peanut butter on bread.

I move on to middle ground and foreground, in that order, mixing each color as I go.  I save complicated shrubbery or trees for last.  All is done with a knife.  For detailed pattern I mix the paint directly on the panel.  The paint is often thick and applied with an impasto style.  While holding the painting in my hand I can rotate it freely to get different directions of stroke.  I have to accomplish most of the painting in one go, as it will start to dry within a day.  The textured surface makes it difficult to work on once the drying process starts.  It takes several weeks for the painting to be completely dry.



Image: Chromascape 67, detail