Developing a Large Painting

Mustard 12x16

Study “Mustard” 12″ x 16

Afternoon Mustard 24x36

“Afternoon Mustard” 24″ x 36″

Developing Larger Paintings

Even with a large painting, I set up on location because, from a colorist point of view, there’s no substitute for working from nature. The first 12″ x 16″ study for the larger painting, “Afternoon Mustard” 24″ x 36″ was done in about 2 hours, with my regular plein-air setup. Next, for the big canvas, I setup an easel that accommodates larger paintings and a larger mixing surface. This takes me about 30 minutes to set up on location, so I get there early. As with any painting, I start by putting the large color masses down on the canvas, occasionally referring to my original study. However, I don’t just copy the original painting but make appropriate changes for the larger format. When I bring the large painting into the studio, I can work out the composition and make any changes I feel appropriate. However, I will continue to take the big canvas out on location several more times, setting up at the same time and in the same light to refine the color. In Petaluma, CA, we have very consistent light so we will get a series of days where you can develop a larger painting. Any finishing touches are done on location, or in the studio from my color study and painting memory.

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