View Full Version : Big Lake - Mille Lacs

02-07-2005, 03:08 PM
Here is a 16 by 20 studio from Fridays minimalistic piece 6 by 8.

I added more of the violet the lower part of the sky to give more of a dramatic feel to it. Maybe snow moving in, maybe snow moving out, or maybe fog. That is the beauty of making a studio from a plein air.

Here again is the 6 by 8, oil on panel

16 by 20, Oil on Marc's Panel, 2 hours 40 minutes.

And a detail

Thanks for looking!

02-07-2005, 10:16 PM
Hey Ben...even that horizontal detail would make a nice painting!

The thing that strikes me about this is that familiar feeling on such a large lake of feeling small! One senses awe of that which is so much bigger....

good job...! Very nice


02-07-2005, 10:48 PM

I have heard the same thing over on the landscape channel about the horizon. The thing that is interesting to me is the vast openess of the sky and the ice which is decorated by little blobs of color. I wanted to show the small blobs of color against something larger. Thanks for looking.

02-08-2005, 09:12 AM
Ohh yeah....not saying you should, just that both are good as subjects themselves.

I agree, what brings back that expansive big feeling is the big sky over the wide empty ice...and if no one has ever been on such ice, the painting as you've done it gives them a good feeling of it!


02-08-2005, 09:23 AM
Thanks Larry :D

02-08-2005, 12:08 PM
Hi Ben,

Nice job enlarging this. I'm particularly impressed by the close-up of
the lake surface and ice shacks, you've done a great job conveying the
distance across the ice.

I'm still finding the dark band of sky distracting, moreso in this piece.
I know you stated in the other thread that it was really there but it looks
too strong to me, it seems to break up the picture into 2 separate
paintings. However, since no one else has commented I'll just chalk it up
to personal preference. It could also be that the digital pic or my monitor
is not faithfully representing the painting. In any event, it does not take
away from the fact that this is a terrific painting overall.


Marc Hanson
02-08-2005, 01:50 PM
Hi Ben,

Sorry for having to cancel class. :)

In defense of the sky, I wonder if it isn't something that we see here ( and in regions similar to ours )because I have seen that many times especially in winter and fall. I'm posting some photos and a painting that I did last winter from a field study and photo that definately shows the same thing happening. It's back to that meteorology question Chris. It's possible that we may have weather effects here that are unique to this type of landscape.

Ben, excuse me for posting works of mine on your thread, but it's the only way for me to show that I've also seen and painted the same effect. My pieces aren't the exact same situation, but similar enough so to be relevant,,,I think.

The other point to be made is that even if this isn't 'exactly' a real effect, it doesn't detract from the overall image. In fact it's cooler, darker color value acts as a compositional foil foil giving contrast between the sky and the snow as it heads off into the distance.

Having said that, and I like both of these, I think that the 'whatever it is' , the haze let's call it, is more colorful in the study. In the larger piece the lighter value along the edge of the 'bluer' sky and the lighter wispy 'cirrus' (Chris?) clouds seems to be a cooler light value. Where in the study those areas are a warmer light value and seem to be more like we'd see the warmth of the sun affecting them.

Here's the painting of a similar sky although I'm closer in and not showing as mych blue sky.

This is the field study.

In fact, I'm painting a 30x36 oil as we speak of a fall scene with another very similar ground hugging moisture effect. Here's the photo reference taken for this one. (Photo color is too intense)

Here's a few hours into it.

02-08-2005, 03:09 PM
Marc (and Ben),

I have definitely seen similar features around here, especially late in
the day. I think what I'm objecting to is the sharpness of the contrast
between the top of the dark band and the white cloud edge immediately
adjacent to it. In your (Marc's) paintings and the 1 photo the transition
between the dark band and the sky looks more feathery, and that looks
more like the way I've seen these types of things.

I'm not saying it didn't look the way Ben painted it (I wasn't there after all)
but that aspect of it looks unrealistic to me. Of course, I willingly concede
that it could be that the digital pic doesn't really represent the subtle
transitions in that area very well.

Also, it depends on whether the dark band is a haze layer of some type or
an advancing/retreating cloud mass. I think the two features would look
quite different and I get the feeling here that in the studio piece that
distinction has been lost in favor of making the scene look more dramatic.

The other point to be made is that even if this isn't 'exactly' a real effect,
it doesn't detract from the overall image. In fact it's cooler, darker color
value acts as a compositional foil foil giving contrast between the sky and
the snow as it heads off into the distance.

I agree that it helps in the sky/snow transition but I do feel that the
sharp upper edge is a distraction. But that's just me (apparently :) ),
so take it for what it's worth. It's still a grand painting.


02-08-2005, 05:08 PM

Thanks for the feedback! The one thing about this is that the haze effect is more dramatized in the larger one to give I thought more info to it. This is all done in ultra, azo yellow, and napthol, and titanium white and still learning the color mixing gig, I know how to mix colors but achieving the right color to put done is tricky sometime. I was really drawn to this effect while fishing and love that violet - blue color hence the reason I painted it. What can I do about that horrible ice I painted? :evil: That is the only thing bothering me!!! Also those painting of the "Ski Trail" are exactly what it reminded me of while jigging and looking for an idea to paint. I am happy with this painting ecept for the ice for right now! And really liked painting on the pumiced board larger, love the way the brushwork looks, gives more texture to it as well.

Is that new larger one on linen, if so do you mount it still or stretch it? If you stretch it is it harder to stretch primed linen, havent done that myself.

It's OK that you played hooky!!!! :D :wink2:
Nah, I heard you were sick with the flu, did the college student bring it home? I always did, he he he Mom and Dad loved that :evil:

02-08-2005, 05:45 PM

I read what you are throwin' at me!!!! :D and thanks for the feed back.