Oil Painting Breakdown, New Zealand Waterfall
Here is another breakdown of my most recent oil painting, which is based on a photograph taken by my sister of a New Zealand scene. I’m going to simply call it, New Zealand Waterfall. As you can see, I don’t like doing anything fancy with the names of my paintings. I’m a simple man. It is 40x50cm on thick stretched canvas.
I did not take many photographs during the painting process unfortunately as I was ‘in the zone’. I did this painting in a very abstract mood and it turned out about a bit different to my usual paintings.
The color combination I was going for was Split Complementary, using orange, blue and green. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you should go check out my book (shameless self plug). As you can see, the orange is very striking due to this combination of color.
I was not so worried about detailing form. I rather used dominant brushstrokes to indicate movement, direction and presence. Your brushstrokes can be a very powerful guide for your viewer’s eye. I am always conscious to try and use my strokes to direct the viewer around the painting, but not straight out. I will rarely aim my strokes straight out of the painting, they are usually pointed inwards.
I actually used the same brush for the whole painting, which I feel creates a slight harmony throughout the painting. Or perhaps I am just lazy? Who knows.
The undercoat I used here was cardinal red, which is different from my usual yellow ochre undercoat. This layer was basically 90% solvent 10% paint, so that it dried quickly. You do not want to paint over a wet undercoat layer.
All up the painting took about an hour from start to finish. I started filming this one but my camera ran out of battery and I just continued painting.
If you have any thoughts, feel free to share in the comments.