View Full Version : Hudson River School Study - Albert Bierstadt, ‘Among The Sierra Nevada Mountains’

04-13-2015, 05:06 PM
Hi all,

Hope you are doing well.

As the title says, I am currently working study of Hudson River School movement.
Surely this is too much for me and I am sure that the painting will not be even close to the original, but certainly I'm going to learn a lot of new stuffs and to be honest I am exited about final result.

Any advice is welcome...

Quick sketch amd playing with colours.



04-13-2015, 05:18 PM
some progress on clouds


04-14-2015, 01:41 PM
still working on clouds



04-24-2015, 08:33 AM
Hello Kemo. Just curious about your methodology and end goal. Are you attempting to follow what is known of Bierstadt's techniques or approach to composing and transferring to his canvas?

Anyway it looks promising at this stage of work. Very nice!

04-24-2015, 03:18 PM
Hello Festus,
Thank you for your post. I expected to get this question once, and I will be honest.
I was very curious about "Hudson River School" technique and I couldn't find any kind of useful information. Most of "advice" and tutorials are something that we already know, and there was no expected effect.
I know that this what I am doing is quite strange, but this just my experiment, trying be closest as it is possible to the Bierstadt.
My canvas proportions are not the same as original so composition have some deviations but it whole atmosphere and effects of the environment looking promising right now.
I will post some more progress soon.
Thank you for following the thread:wave:

04-25-2015, 01:43 PM
Looks like a great start to me. I can't wait to see more.

04-26-2015, 06:04 PM
Thank you very much meganj.
I have to say that this study already giving results, as in this stage I can see some mistakes, so I am already little bit smarter.
The biggest mistake is experiment with this imprecise "underpainting", as I have lost a form of whole picture.

Below some progress with mountains.

All comments, suggestion and criticism are more than welcome.



05-07-2015, 11:10 AM
This men was a genius, I am not getting anywhere with this huh


05-25-2015, 04:54 PM
This one will probably be done in May next year :eek:

More mountains progress



05-25-2015, 08:41 PM
[QUOTE=Kemo]This one will probably be done in May next year :eek:

... but it already looks great my man! Keep on!

05-26-2015, 05:22 PM
Thank you very much for encouragement. It is rally challenging to keep focus while working on painting with so much tiny details

05-27-2015, 08:46 AM
Thank you very much for encouragement. It is rally challenging to keep focus while working on painting with so much tiny details

You are welcome buddy... you deserve it. I know what you mean by challenging, hard to keep concentration. What helps me is that I try to work in 'mosaic'... sometimes I work only with one pigment and it's tones, for example only yellow, or red, or blue etc... the only thing is that in that case - planning is everything. But you are doing great job. Will stop by to see your progress as you go along. All the best!

06-21-2015, 03:19 PM
Little bit of progress after long time



06-23-2015, 11:06 PM
Kemo, you choose quite a challenge, and so far you're getting it. The original was an enourmous paintiing, ¿what size is of yours?

06-24-2015, 02:43 PM
Yes I know, I just could not resist to try. I am working on 100x80 cm (40x32 inch) canvas.
Best regards and thank you for you comment:wave:

08-19-2015, 04:30 PM
This is the stage where drawing mistakes are more and more obvious, but it is going to be nice painting with a lot deviations from the original




08-30-2015, 12:23 AM
I love how this is going, the waterfall is perfect!

09-26-2015, 06:08 PM
Thank you @yupanqui I really appreciate that someone still following this.

I wasnt do anything for a while, but now get back on work.
Some progress, maybe hard to notice but I actually put some effort here



09-27-2015, 06:34 AM
Thank you @yupanqui I really appreciate that someone still following this.

I wasnt do anything for a while, but now get back on work.
Some progress, maybe hard to notice but I actually put some effort here



Looking great Kemo!

09-27-2015, 01:28 PM
Thank you mate! I will start working little bit harder on this one, so I hope so that there will be new update soon

10-12-2015, 01:33 PM
Wow, I have wanted to paint in the Hudson River School style, but not brave enough to try to copy a Bierstadt...I've been to the local museum many times to look at his works (Wadsworth Atheneum) and try to understand how he did what he did. You are doing an extraordinary job! Just amazing... I am on pins and needles to see the final result. Long haul, I'm sure...but please don't stop!

10-18-2015, 05:27 PM
Hi Laurelwood,
Thank you so much for those kind words, its really motivates me to continue when I read our post. It is really a long lane, and sometimes it really irritate when I realize how far I am on my journey to understand this great master of art.
Here is one more update. Probably not even noticeable change for most of you, but actually I have spend some time on this project.:)

Seaside Artist
10-19-2015, 04:09 AM

Thanks for sharing your work and progress. :thumbsup:


10-19-2015, 03:14 PM
@seaside artist

Thank You for following :wave: :wave:

11-02-2015, 03:36 PM
New update:




I am definitely cant control any more deviations with original piece, now I am working just with my feelings.

All suggestions are more that welcome

11-04-2015, 04:54 PM
I hope that I am not adding too much of pictures, and that those updates make sense to you. If this is too much, please let me know.



J Miller
11-04-2015, 05:38 PM
Wow! This is really impressive. Your patience is too!

11-04-2015, 05:56 PM
Thank you mate! To be honest it is really challenging to be patient with so much details like on this painting. As you can see i started this thread 7 months ago, and there was so much moments where I was that much frustrated that I was forced to take a brake from painting, sometime 15-20 days long.
And than sometimes I am really motivated to paint, but then canvas is not ready/dry, but after all I am still "in the game". I am really looking forward to finish this as I just cant let my self to start another painting before this one is done.

11-05-2015, 09:13 PM

Please dont's stop uploading images! I love to see your progress.

11-13-2015, 01:19 PM



11-13-2015, 02:17 PM
Albert Bierstadt- romantic, almost glowing lighting, sometimes called luminism.

Luminism- [Capturing illumination for luminism is an art in itself. Washes and layers upon layers of subtle tones are often used to create an overall glow. Some artists employ the use of light textures and opaque ground work to begin the process. Then luminous washes of progressively rich tones are layered over the opaque areas. This results in a glow that cannot be easily achieved in any other way.]

It is hard to find descriptions of how it was done..

11-13-2015, 02:40 PM
Thank you very much for posting your comment.
That is something new for me, and definitely material for research.

My painting looks much better live as this is photographed by not so good camera, but again in this stage I am aware that I am not even close to understand bierstadt and hudson river school artist, so maybe your post is good clue to continue with my study.

11-21-2015, 04:32 PM


11-22-2015, 05:44 PM
Kemo...just gorgeous...I'm jealous - now you will have a Bierstadt original painting in your home (sort of...) Makes me want to attempt one, but I'm not that experienced in regular oils...would need to start in acrylics and go over in oils, not sure that if that would be a crime. LOL

I just have 2 comments/critiques, though I hesitate to critique this at all since you're doing such a beautiful job, but because the painting is so beautiful, I feel these "issues" stand out. The legs on the left most deer seem a bit short in relation to the deer's body. I looked at the original and Bierstadt's are a bit longer, so it works on his. And, will you be toning down the green a bit? It's lovely, but maybe a tad too bright, I think...

Keep up the great work...can't wait to see what you come up with next...

12-10-2015, 04:55 PM
Hi Laurelwood,
Sorry for late reply.
Tahank you for your comments and kind words.
I have to say that this is far far far away from Bierstadt, but anyway I am satisfied with current progress.
You should definitely give a shoot of one piece like this.

regarding your critiques, thank you for that that is actually purpose of this thread. Deer legs are definitely to short. Reason for that is bad planning and now I am trying to present like water is deeper and just half of his leg is above water, but effect is not so good.

There is a lot of work in front of me, all over the painting (for example, now I am back on sky, while waiting for trees to be dry, so green color should be fine.
at the end few pictures.


12-11-2015, 10:52 PM
This is definitely taking its final shape. Great progress!!

You're right, the camera makes a less impressive record of the painting.

12-18-2015, 02:27 PM
The wetness on the rocks and the sheen is just fabulous...definitely coming together!! Thank you for additional progress shots!

Alex Melnicov
12-20-2015, 11:21 PM
Good day


do you study works of Caspar David Friedrich and Joseph Mallord William Turner??

Mountains and air are full of old time impessionism (pre-impressionism)

12-21-2015, 01:14 PM
This is quite fasinating. Good job!

In San Francisco, California USA, the De Young art museum (located in Golden Gate Park) has a number of works from the Hudson River School. I should think that New York has more, but I haven't been there. Not all of the "Hudson River School" artists were in New York; many scenes are supposed to be in California, but not any California I've ever seen. :lol:

12-21-2015, 03:46 PM
Hi guys,
Thank you all for kind words, that really means a lot to me.

@Alex Turner is my favorite artist, especially early Turner. This is one of my study, Turner's fisherman on sea
I also like many of Rissian old masters, currently I am working on one painting in Shishkin's style. Will post it here, once one when it is done.

@Pinguino unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to see any of hudson river school paintings in live, so I am jealous on you. American national parks are really beautiful, there is a lot of inspiration for landscape artists. I have to say that country also have a beautiful places, where I find my inspiration (Google sutjeska national park)

I am really happy to see that this thread is live, here are more photos


Once when I am done I will take few shots with professional camera, so you will have clear picture (end is far away, as there is so much details left to work on)

Alex Melnicov
12-21-2015, 10:24 PM
JMW Turner have many works painted in watecolor.
His love to this paintings was so big . Also he was engraver.

do you paint in watercolor? very strict and difficult to paint!!

I usually use watercolor pencils Faber/Castell .

also I have a question - do you know film about this Master
"Mr. Turner" (2014) ??

and about I.Shiskin. He so loved paint simply nature objects (stones, snags, stumps and so on) and paint so carefully.
Love to Nature and perseverance to study were a Major elements of his Creations. like all Big Masters...

01-10-2016, 09:51 AM
I am really impressed with this painting!!! It looks perfect to me just the way it is :)

01-10-2016, 03:25 PM
Thank you very much snap40

I think it is finished for now. C&C appriciated


09-26-2017, 06:36 PM
I'm sorry to have missed the end of this thread. Very impressed with your finished painting (well over a year later, but better late than never??)

10-26-2017, 08:59 PM
Aw inspiring piece. I van feel the cold briskness, ...

11-29-2017, 04:10 PM
Wow, so impressed with this! I love Hudson River School and Albert Bierstadt. You are more brave than me to attempt it, but the results are beautiful!

01-02-2018, 06:56 AM