View Full Version : A step by step, as requested

04-09-2010, 12:12 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Apr-2010/1250-classic_florida_linda_blondheim_landscape_painting_800.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Apr-2010/1250-CF1.jpg

This painting is 30x36 inches
acrylic on birch wood panel

Stage one is my plan. The intial composition in black and some correction in blue. You can see the x marks through areas I want to change. I am ever aware of intervals in my paintings along with space and atmosphere. The panel is pre-toned in ochre.


Stage 2

The block in with painting knife. I do all of the color mixing for my work on the palette, never on the support. Generally, my method both with knife and brush is a thin layer of paint and multiple layers overlapping, all thin except for tree limb sork which tends to be a bit thicker. I have never been a fan of heavy impasto or thick paint.


Stage 3

It is beginning to take the form of the painting now and I will turn to various areas of the painting for attention.


Stage 4

I spent a fair amount of time on the tree in this stage, developing the moss and structure. I am not hadppy with the sky and need to do some brushwork and glazing to refine this painting a bit in the final stages.


Stage 5

I did a fair amount of glaze work in this final stage, and some build up and refinement in the field with a small painting knife. I went over some of the moss initially done with knife and refined it further with a brush. The sky was first done with knife and then refined with brushwork and then glazed. The middle ground tree mass was glazed with a thin white to push it back a bit in the field. The tree trunk and limb edges were glazed on the edges to soften them. I don't want to over refine this so it's done.

This will be my last studio painting until mid May. I'm leaving Friday for two big Florida Paint Outs.



04-09-2010, 01:43 AM
Linda..thank you for sharing this...I like your method here, you paint quite similar to me, except I love thick impasto paint....you certainly make it look easy...nicely done..:thumbsup:

04-09-2010, 05:04 AM
Beautiful as usual, Linda. You ever get tired of hearing that? ;) Thanks for sharing the WIP. :thumbsup:

04-09-2010, 07:42 AM
You are so very kind to share your "secrets" :D
A lovely painting from a lovely person :heart:

04-09-2010, 07:56 AM
Thanks for sharing this. It's kind of how I build up the layers as well (though I don't use a knife much), and it's good to see that others are doing it the same way.

Also, this is a gorgeous painting. I loooooooooooove Spanish moss and you've really captured the look in this.

04-09-2010, 08:15 AM
How could I ever tire of hearing that kind compliment?

I'm happy to share Linda

Guineverec, I'm so glad you like the moss. It took me a long time to learn that.

Dan, You do great palette knife work. Thanks a million.

04-09-2010, 10:07 AM
Linda, thank you very much for going to the trouble of breaking your work down like this. These are my favorite kind of posts because I learn so much.


04-09-2010, 10:12 AM

04-09-2010, 12:46 PM
Linda, thank you very much for your time and effort you put into sharing your process. I found it to be exciting and educational. The use of glazing to manipulate distance was especially interesting. Your paintings have a subtle atmospheric air effect but still retain a fresh vibrancy and immediate energy. I really enjoyed watching your structure take shape and move toward completion. Thank you very much for a sneak peak into your process it is much appreciated. Joe. P.s. every step looked beautiful and could stand on it's own.

04-09-2010, 01:29 PM
Sue, I'm so glad you enjoyed the process.
Docsaro, Very kind of you.
Joe, You make an important point about painting, in that every step should stand on it's own. If design is inferior, no amount of detail will make it a good painting. I like to say that the only difference in abstract and realism is the amount of detail and how far one goes to refine. The preference is involved for each viewer in deciding when it has not gone far enough or has gone too far. In my mind there is no right or wrong, only good or bad design.


Al Skaar
04-09-2010, 01:47 PM
Beautiful painting Linda. Thanks for posting the steps! It's fascinating to see how artists begin and what type of drawing they use. I've noticed that most demos, particularly the YouTube video demos, begin with the drawing already done. I'm disappointed in that approach because to me the drawing is one of the most interesting parts. That's where all the big decisions are made and I love seeing the thought process in action. So thanks again for including your drawing!

- Al

04-09-2010, 02:44 PM
Hi Linda,
Great demo of this painting...it's very nice to see your method and watch the painting come to life. Very cool!

04-09-2010, 04:15 PM
Hi Linda,

Wow, this is great. Thanks for showing us your working method. Very interesting and instructive!


04-09-2010, 04:29 PM
I agree. I like to see the initial design process, the bones of the painting. We all know how to put paint on the support.
Ron and John, I'm so glad you enjoyed this.

Terry Wynn
04-09-2010, 07:01 PM
Thank you so much for taking the time to show the progression. And then seeing the beautiful painting. The Spanish moss is wonderful, the clouds really have the pouffy feel to them. . . the whole painting works! Thank you!

Oh, and I hope you have a wonderful time at the paint outs. Best of luck!


04-09-2010, 10:52 PM
Terry, Thanks so much for your kind remarks. I'm looking forward to these last two events before I'm home in the studio for summer.

04-09-2010, 11:13 PM
Always, the demos are helpful and give us hope! This fine painting is typical of yours and I think that fact makes this especially informative. Thank you, Linda. Dan

04-10-2010, 07:52 AM
Dan, Thank you so much and I'm glad it was useful for you.

04-10-2010, 07:57 AM
Excellent! You've really inspired me and I can't wait to get finished with the little nit-picky realist painting I'm in currently to get out the knives and go crazy. I promise not to cut myself. ;-)

04-10-2010, 10:51 AM
Thanks Linda for a great demo! I agree with you and others that getting the design down first is paramount in getting the final painting to work. Just like the human body in that we wouldn't work very well if our skeleton was poorly developed. No amount of retooling, detail or brushwork will save a poorly designed painting.

It's stating the obvious, but this is a well designed painting!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:



04-10-2010, 12:25 PM
Thanks, Linda! I'll put a link to this thread in the Hall of Fame sticky.

04-10-2010, 12:47 PM
Keith, Can't wait to see your results.

Randy, Many thanks. It's always special to receive comments from painters who know the landscape where you paint. There is a kinship with that mutual respect for the land you know well.

Wendy, Very kind of you.

04-10-2010, 07:49 PM
So interesting to see your painting take form Linda. I noticed in stage 3 that the tree has little light from the sky or indeed light foliage, I gather you must have applied that lovely blue sky behind the tree with a knife. It really is such a beautiful painting. It does help to learn by seeing your painting stage by stage.
Enjoy your paint out.

04-10-2010, 08:56 PM
Yes Caroline,
The sky holes were added late in the painting. I also glazed over them when they dried, with a transparent blue to bring the value down a half step.
Thanks so much for your kind comments.

04-11-2010, 03:50 AM
Linda---This is really splendid, love the contrast between the detail and more mysterious parts of the painting - a little something for everyone. :)


04-11-2010, 10:16 AM
Hi Dan,
Exactly. I find that many painters are in two basic camps in their preference. Camp 1= go too far with too much information and Camp 2 = Give no or little information.

I am in Camp 3= Trying to give enough information to make it interesting, but not so much that there is no mystery.

As a young painter I was in camp 1. As an emerging painter, I was in camp 2. As an established painter, I am now in camp 3. What an interesting life we have as painters.

04-12-2010, 02:41 AM
As a relatively inexperienced painter, I tend to fall into camp one when I paint (despite my best intentions), but am much more attracted to paintings from camp 3. Hopefully someday I'll be able to look at a scene and see a looser statement in my brain, then get my hand to produce a likeness. :)


04-12-2010, 08:49 AM

A good point. Your experience over the years says a lot about where you want to be. I try to have balance in my work. Some areas loose, some tight, and some in between. Areas of interest have more color and development. receeding spaces are loose and soft edged, more atmospheric.

One of the problems I see a lot in inexperienced work is a tendency to be all loose and sloppy or all tightly rendered. Variety creates intrigue in a painting. Giving a sense of direction to the viewer to know where to pause, where to rest, where to be excited.

In my youth I thought good painting was throwing bold color at the canvas with little regard to composing and subtlety or refinement. I covered the fact that I simply did not know what I was doing by calling myself a minimalist, code word for having no idea how to paint. Then I went through a stage of hyper refinement in drawing.

Then I went through a 10 year period of alla prima plein air painting where I did absolutely no studio work. Frankly, this nearly ruined me as a painter. Alla prima is fun and it teaches you a lot about painting, but it also is a skill killer, unless you want to be known as a plein air painter only. I began to look at my work with great disatisfaction. I went back into the studio, and found the happy marraige of plein air/studio work which is where I am today.

It has been in the last 3-5 years that I have grown into a mature painter. I continue to research and learn, as with the new palette knife work, and charting color. I'm in a good place mentally as a painter, with self confidence but not arrogance, as there are people who can outpaint me blindfolded. Now if the economy will just improve a bit, all will be well.

04-12-2010, 12:23 PM
Bravo!!! And such a wonderful step by step, Linda!! :clap: :thumbsup:

04-12-2010, 03:45 PM
Thanks so much Larry. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.