Monday, January 7, 2019


Not too far to go now! Just the lower hill in shadow on the left then the foreground. I'm trying to keep most of this area a little subdued as I don't want it to immediately attract the eye. Hopefully the view up the center of the painting to the snowy heights above are what most people will see first. Then their eye to gently roam around taking in other smaller details here and there. I'm still in awe of this mountain myself and am sure I'll have to do a much larger painting of it someday.

Monday, December 24, 2018


I was not able to update any recent work done to this painting as I had to travel and have only just got back into the studio. It has been a bit of a push to get back into working with oils again as for the past few weeks, I have only been doing watercolors. Here though, I'm working on the foothills on the left and adding a slightly darker tone of green than that of the more distant hills. I'll continue this on the right side next and hope to get to some of the trees in the foreground - hopefully this will bring more of a sense of scale to the work. I'm looking forward to finishing this painting which I feel has been taking far too long! Hopefully a few more sessions will see it done.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Moving onto the foothills now and I am introducing a subtle touch of green into the painting. I have to keep this color muted and greyed so as not to contrast too much with the warmer more neutral colors of the mountain. I love how the blued shadows are giving depth to the scene. Some snowy patches have remained lower down in the valley and this also adds interest. I purposely kept the sky simple as I knew there would be plenty of details in the landscape - also this is how the scene looked initially so I wanted to try and capture that sense of wonder and amazement from when I saw it for the first time.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Here the main part of the mountain is beginning to take shape with its interplay of light and shadow. I have also mostly completed the snowy section on the right but will probably have to take another look at that later on when I get most of the mountain finished. At this point, it is a bit like working on a jigsaw puzzle with each section having to fit in seamlessly with the last trying all the while to keep the tones and chroma accurate. Since these stages are separated by a day or so, the thinly-applied paint has dried and this can be a little difficult to work the new wet paint back into it without making it obvious!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Working along the skyline, I continued developing the mountain trying to keep it interesting by using slightly different shades of warm grey and cobalt blue for the shadow areas. The snowy areas in direct sunlight was slightly warmed titanium white. Some smaller patches of snow will be dropped in later when the rocky areas have dried. Working down the mountainside, I slightly cooled the grey that I used for the sun-lit rocks and darkened the snow slightly in the shadow areas. So far so good - still plenty to do on this one but I'm happy with how it's going.


Having finished a few smaller studies, I felt it was time to tackle something a little larger. I had a linen panel lying around so after giving it a few coats of gesso, I did a full-sized drawing on scrap paper then rubbed the back with a soft graphite pencil. This was then turned face up and laid down onto the panel. I went over the lines again with a ballpoint pen which transferred the drawing onto the surface. I don't always do this usually preferring to draw directly onto the panel but I wanted a little more accuracy this time. I then laid in a graduated sky of pale cobalt blue and started on the rocks with a warm grey. Shadows were a shade of the same cobalt blue.

Thursday, October 18, 2018


For the most part, we had good weather but with the occasional rainy period. Consequently there were many mist-enshrouded mountain scenes like the one in the small oil painting shown above. I was also able to capture more in my sketchbook and for the ones that changed rapidly, I took a number of photographs - not so much as something to work from, but more of a visual reminder that I could get to later.

This small oil above was completed later mostly from a sketchbook study but also as an experiment to see how this glacier scene would look in a different medium. I'll either do a larger oil or a woodblock print of this. Frankly, there was so much to see, it was difficult deciding what to concentrate on. I found myself doing quick half-finished watercolor studies then rushing onto the next one while being distracted by something else!

On this sketchbook page, there are two quick landscape studies and one of a Canada goose resting in the sunlight. As I had more time I was able to devote more effort to the goose study and later work on it some more in my cabin. I particularly enjoyed its half-closed eye and the drooping wing - all signs of a relaxed and contented bird. This was one individual of a small flock of 7 or 8 birds loafing on a grassy hillside.

Here is the initial sketchbook study of the glacier scene shown in the small oil above. I find it worth while to do a few different studies like this and some even smaller ones playing around with variations in color etc. For me, it certainly helps cement the image in my mind and allows for a more natural progression from sketchbook to final painting.