After a great workshop at Lake Powell I’m back in the studio again working on the large oil painting for the Washington County Library. It seems to be taking me a long time to do this painting, partially because of the sheer size. But I also have to switch my thinking from my usual watercolor technique to the oil painting approach. The main difference with oils of course is that you establish the darks first and finish up with the lights. Whereas in watercolor because of its transparency you must preserve the whites by painting around them using what I call “backpainting.” In either medium the important thing to remember is the importance of value contrast.
Since the figures are the real focal point, I will complete them first. I will then move on to the background buildings which depict all of the libraries in St. George since the 1800’s. I will paint them in a lighter value or tone, and reduce the intenisty of color there to help push them into the background.