In October of 2005 we enjoyed a stay on the shores of Lake Willoughby in a rustic 1900’s era home owned by a friend of mine, Sam Kent. This little farm sits on Hinton Hill Road, which leads to the tiny town of Westmore over the mountain behind the lake.
This is my two-minute value study which I call a “thumbnail sketch” because of its small size. This is where I work out the darks and lights. If the design works here, it will work in the finished painting. At this stage I pay little attention to details, just on the lights and darks.
Notice how the dark shapes of the trees are giving the barns and house their shape. This is called “back painting” or “negative Painting.” It is the process of leaving the white paper showing in the lighter areas by painting the negative area around it.
Moving to the foreground I built up the texture and values in the foreground field and grasses using negative painting to preserve the lighter shapes of the grasses. I continue the painting by adding darker glazes to further define the shapes, and finish it off with details and my darkest darks.