Friday, February 21, 2014

New Daily Painting "Kaleidoscope"

Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvas
12" x 12"

Click here to purchase this painting.

I've had this image in my head for a while. Back in October I made a quick 8" x 10" oil painting on canvas mounted on board. It was very rough and expressionistic and didn't quite hit the mark.  Yesterday I pulled out that old painting and a few reference photos and started again, this time on a 12" x 12" canvas. 

I started with a pretty loose pencil sketch on a lightly toned canvas.  I knew the sky would make or break this painting so I focused on conveying the movement of the clouds while retaining enough definition to keep the canvas from dissolving into a multi-colored mush. I only managed an hour and a half or so yesterday, but managed to get the sky mostly put together. 

Today I came in a bit early and worked on the tree line and grass in the foreground.  After I had the whole canvas covered with paint, I began layering a bit thicker paint on top, finally finishing with a few more brush flourishes in the sky and the bright highlighted clouds at the center of the composition.

What keeps this image in my mind is the way the clouds seem to explode from the hotspot of the sun behind the trees. I always feel such energy watching the world as it seems to die at sunset, yet at the same time I'm filled with peace. I've tried to let the paint handling convey a bit of the vibrant, charged atmosphere while the calm blue sky and soft greens and reddish hues of the foreground lend a bit of tranquility.

I'm calling this one "Kaleidoscope" because the swirling multi-colored clouds reminded me of the circular patterns of my old child's toy.

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