Impressionist Landscapes -Use Simplification and Atmospheric Perspective to Paint an Icelandic City | Rachael Broadwell | Skillshare

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Impressionist Landscapes -Use Simplification and Atmospheric Perspective to Paint an Icelandic City

teacher avatar Rachael Broadwell, Fine Arts Teacher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

21 Lessons (1h 48m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies and Colors

    • 3. Toning the Canvas

    • 4. Sketching & Initial Block-In

    • 5. Block-In 1: Background

    • 6. Block-In 2: Background

    • 7. Block-In 3: Midground

    • 8. Block-In 4: Foreground

    • 9. Block-In 5: Foreground

    • 10. Block-In 6: Adding Vibrant Color

    • 11. Block-In 7: Adding Vibrant Color

    • 12. Beginning to Define Structure in the Buildings

    • 13. Take a Break to Get a Fresh Perspective

    • 14. Pushing Color & Value to Add Visual Interest

    • 15. Creating More Structure in the Buildings

    • 16. Using Color Subjectively

    • 17. Defining "Detail" with Small Strokes

    • 18. Adding Trees (Organic Shapes)

    • 19. Final Details & Reflecting on the Process

    • 20. Final Thoughts

    • 21. Process Overview (Timelapse)

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About This Class

Welcome to the third installment on Impressionist Landscape painting! In this course, we will use the concepts of simplification and atmospheric perspective to take on a challenging composition -- a vibrant, bustling Icelandic city set against a serene mountainous landscape. This is my process for tacking any composition that has a lot of complexity and I find myself wondering where to even start. The answer? Start with big brushstrokes, and build up to the detail!

I will be demonstrating this painting with oils, but these concepts can be applied to any medium you prefer!

I hope you'll join this course and that it gives you lots of insight as to how you can break a complicated scene into simple brush strokes that create a cumulative effect of "detail" -- that dreaded word!


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Rachael Broadwell

Fine Arts Teacher


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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome Teoh this skill share course on Impressionist landscapes. We're going to use the principles of simplification and atmosphere perspective to create an Impressionist painting of this scene. And I'm going to walk you through all the steps from doing my sketch and planning and identifying my goals for this composition, which is basically going to be to juxtapose a very calm, serene, subdued natural landscape with the vibrant, bustling Icelandic city in the foreground. And I'm going to show you how I approach a subject that has quite a bit of complexity. If you look at the photo reference, you see just a lot of buildings and houses, and that can be very overwhelming. But if you use the process of simplification, massing and working from the general to the specific, you'll find that it's relatively simple. Teoh build up a complex scene without going in and having to meticulously draw out and plan everything. I'm basically going to be using nice, expressive, bold brushstrokes to build this city, and I really want to show you that by simplifying even the most complex subjects, you can break down the process of painting almost any subject in this manner. Yes, it takes a little bit of patients and also a little bit of faith and trust in the process. But overall, this is a headache, free, simple and relaxing way to approach any subject where you feel like it's just very complex and you don't even know where to start. I always just start with some brush strokes, and I don't always exactly know where they're going toe lead. But I just know that if I continue to work and continue, Teoh break things down little by little. I know that I'm going to get there in the end, so I hope so. I hope that you'll join me on this next Impressionist landscape adventure, and I look forward to seeing work projects. 2. Supplies and Colors: for this painting. I'm just using this 11 by 14 canvas and I'll go over my colors. So this 1st 1 is just titanium whites. Next, I'm going to put some liquid impossible on my palette. This really helps Teoh make the paint dry faster without thinning the paint. And because I like to use imposter oh, applications of paint where it's very thick. This works really well for me. Next they have my cadmium lemon, This is a nice cool yellow and then I have my cadmium yellow. I think this is a medium which is a warm yellow and then permanent. Rose is a nice cool red and this will be the only read that I use, which is pretty typical for me. Next, I have ultra marine blue. This is a cool blue and I need lots of months events. Then I have a low blue. This is a warm blue. This is also a very, very strong pigment, so I usually don't squeeze out very much about it first. Then I have raw number and I also do not mean much of this because I typically only use this during my sketch phase. So you see that I have to piles of that liquid and pasta. And what I like to dio is used one of those in with just some whites. Because white, especially titanium white, takes a really long time to dry. Different pigments take different amounts of time to dry. And why is one of the slowest drying paints that I use? I would say that both of the yellows also dry pretty slow. So what I'm doing is I'm gonna go ahead and premix some of the liquid and pasta into some of the white. And then as I go, I'll be adding liquid imposter to my other mixes. A swell. But because white is so slow drying, I go ahead and just premix a little bit. And if I don't use it all, I can just put it in a little condiment cup with a lid and pop it in the freezer. And then I can usually use it again the next day. And the colors I use are just a very basic, simple color palettes, and you should just use whatever you happen to have handy 3. Toning the Canvas: If you've watched my other courses, you know that I like to tone. My canvas is red now. This canvas is already toned green, and I think probably what happened was that I had some extra paints left over one time after a painting session, and I didn't want to let it go to waste. And so I probably just I went ahead and toned a canvas with that green. But since then I've really developed a strong preference for a red toned canvas because I like that. It's nice and warm in temperature, and I like that. It's a very medium value now. Green is a medium value. It's not particularly cool, but again, if you've seen any of my other courses, you know that this is just my personal preference. And you could definitely work on a green toned canvas or really a canvas toned in any other color. That's at least a very middle of the road values to not too dark, not too light, definitely not with any white mixed into it because that will pollute the paint that you put on top unless you're going toe. Let your toned surface completely dry before you add paint on top of it and then you could actually use some white and toning in general is something that really isn't a necessary part of the process. But a lot of artists do prefer it. I personally prefer it because I think that it just helps me process. It helps me with decision making regarding values, especially so it's something that I like to dio and I do recommend doing it, and I go ahead and paint over my wet toned surface. I don't wait for it to dry. I just wipe it down with a paper towel. I use my solvent to thin it out, and I keep it very, very thin. 4. Sketching & Initial Block-In: here We have the original photo reference for this painting, and I decided to make a couple of changes to it in photo shop. So I wanted to keep all of the buildings, but I wanted to quiet down the background so that most of the emphasis could be on this little Icelandic town and that the background would kind of be very quiet and muted. So I pulled some photo shop shenanigans here and basically just enlarged the background while keeping the foreground intact. And if you look closely, you'll see that I am no Photoshopped guru, so I'm not teaching any classes on that. If you've seen any of my other classes, you know that I always like to do a sketch, and usually I just stick Teoh black ink and I just do a really loose scribbling sketch this time because there was so much going on and I really wanted to work out the color coordination in a certain way. I decided to do my sketch in watercolor, and so basically what I did was I just quickly scribbled in some lines to generally give a little bit of structure to this Icelandic town, and then I really focused on just splashing color around in a very loose way. Teoh get this scene with a very vibrant and colorful foreground and then a background that's a little bit more subdued and muted and quiet. So I'm also going to show you a little bit of a close up of this sketch just so you can see how loose this was. I actually did this late at night, and it just worked out. I was just kind of messing around with the composition and the colors and just trying to start thinking through how I'm going to approach this painting. Now. Water pillar is a very different medium than what I'll use, which is oil paints. But I basically was able Teoh start thinking about how I might approach this with oil paints. And now I'm going Teoh start sketching in this initial block in of the composition just the way that I usually dio. So I like to use a little bit of ultra marine blue and my raw umber just Teoh make something very dark and then I mix in some of my solvents. Teoh thin this down so that I could do a very loose and quick lay in of the entire composition, and I'm just thinking about structure and value to some extent. But I'm not going to be doing any rendering. I'm not going to be doing any modeling of anything. I'm just getting everything blocked into the position that it needs to be. The way that I'm going to be approaching this entire composition is that I'm going to do the background and the middle ground first. I'll still generally work from my darker values to my wider values. But I am approaching this painting just a little bit differently just because the background is going to be fairly simple and loose, while the foreground where this little town is is really going to be the focal point of this painting. And so that's where I'm going to spend most of my time. So I basically get the entire background in the middle ground done, and then I will spend most of my time on that foreground and I'm going to treat the foreground almost as though it's an entire composition in and of itself. So you'll see how I work from my dark values to my light values and keep everything very blocky and simple so that I'm working from the general to the specific. So if you have taken my previous to landscape courses on simplification and atmosphere, those two concepts are really going to come into play in this composition. All right, so we've basically got this initial block in all wrapped up. This is something that you shouldn't spend much time on. It's just a very general basic blocking. You can see that I'm not concerning myself with this little town at all. At this point, as I said, I will be working on the background in the middle ground and then I'm going Teoh, really get down and dirty with this little Icelandic town. 5. Block-In 1: Background: I'm going to start blocking in the sky, the mountains and even a little bit of the sea. And my goal for the entire background in mid ground of this composition is just basically to keep it very quiet and subdued. So I'm going to be using a lot of cool colors and a lot of really muted colors in the background. So I'm starting out with a little bit of my fellow blue, a little bit of my ultra Marine blue, White added. Just a touch of red in there, and I'm going to start blocking in the sky with this color. As always with this initial color block in, I don't have to worry about getting anything exactly the way that it's going to end up. And so that really allows me to just kind of relax my mind and go with the flow a little bit. So now I'm using some of that same color in parts of the scene where I can see that the sky is being reflected a little bit more. For the most part, that water is pretty dark, but there's just a couple areas where it's a bit whiter, so that's where I'm adding this sky reflection and I'm starting out with my largest flat brush. This is the same brush that I did the entire under painting and sketch with, and I'm gonna try to stick with that for a long as I can. So now I have added a lot more white and even a touch of yellow into that mix. Because if you pay attention to the sky even on a nice blue day where there aren't any clouds in the sky, you will tend to notice that the sky gets a little bit lighter and value in ever so slightly warmer and temperature as it approaches the horizon. So I'm kind of blocking that end. It looks a little bit walkie right now, but as I said before, when I'm doing the block and I really just don't worry about having everything exactly the way that I want it, I'm just starting to think through the process and for the sky because I want to keep this background very mellow. I think that I might actually just leave out the cloud that is in the reference photo. So I'm adding a lot more Ultra Marine had to add a little bit of my liquid and pasta to that, So the less white I have in the mixed. Because, remember, I had already mixed some of the liquid and pasta into one of my white tiles. So if I have a mix that doesn't have much white in it, I will use just a little bit of the liquid and pasta and added to the mix. Just so. It will also drive pretty fast. So I'm starting out my mountains with a very cool blue. Which is why I added a lot more of the ultra marine blue to this mix. Because it's much cooler temperature then say low blue. And I'm just starting to block in portions of the mountain range that are in shadow a little bids or there some crevices, and they're just not receiving as much lights again. I'm not being concerned at all with any kind of detail. I'm just starting. Teoh generally work on the value and the temperature, and because this mountain range is so far in the distance, atmospheric perspective will guide us in determining our values. Even when it's a little bit difficult. Teoh discern them in the photograph so I really want to make sure that even my darkest values in this mountain range are not going to be as dark as you know, say, a black or the color that I used to do my initial sketch because with atmospheric perspective, we want things to be just a little bit hazy, a little bit subdued. And these values are matting right now are a little bit dark, but these air kind of just an initial base to work off of, and all the adding some lighter values on top. You can see I even added a little bit more red into this mix, so it's somewhat of a violet, and I think that this is actually going to be a pretty good color to block in this sea. Keeping in mind, of course, that we can make adjustments as needed. But when I'm doing the block in, I like to just start thinking about the value and the temperature, and I like to get as much coverage as I can. So the areas that I'm going Teoh not address at this point are just going to be the areas where the values are maybe even a little bit lighter. So when I'm doing these block ins, I do try to work from my darker values up to my lighter values. But you'll notice that with all of these mixes that I am using for the background, they all have at least some white in there again. That is just going to lend itself to creating that nice atmospheric perspective of things being just a little bit subdued. Not grabbing too much attention is a large portion of this composition, but I really want the focal point to be on the town, So I'm trying to keep everything very subdued in the background. All right, so I think we are ready to start working on the next block in phase of the background and mid ground. 6. Block-In 2: Background: and now I'm going to start working on some of the middle values. I'm also going. Teoh. Look for temperatures that are a little bit warmer so you can see here that I've added a little bit of yellow into what I already had, which was mostly still just that blue mix. So I added a little bit of yellow and of course, yellow and blue is going to make a really nice green. But because I want everything in the background to be very subdued and I want that atmospheric perspective, I added just a little bit of red to this mix as well, because when you add red Teoh a green, it really helps to neutralize the green. And if I had a really bright green back here in these distant melons, not only would it be very distracting from the rest of the painting which, of course, I want this background to be very quiet and mellow, and all of the vibrancy is going to be in that foreground a little bit later, so it would be distracting and it would also just not fit with the colors back there. A really bright green would be very out of place. So now I'm mixing up another green. I added a little bit more white, a little more yellow and also a little bit more red, so I'm not even sure at this point I would really call this a green. You can see it's very much warmer than the green that I had before. There's quite a lot more red and yellow in this mix, and I'm going to focus this on some of the kind of foothills of these mountains. And if you think about the structure of the mountain, the tallest peaks are most likely going to be even forever in the distance. And so foothills tend to be a little bit closer to us. And now I've added a lot more red to this mix to start defining some of these lower land masses that are a little bit closer into us. So they're going to be a bit warmer and temperature starting some hints of this warmer color down at the base. But I'm keeping everything in this mountain very losing, painterly, not worrying about any kind of detail. It all you could almost simplify this mountain range basically into two values and to color temperatures. Right now, I actually don't have any paint on the brush. I wiped it all off and I'm just using the bristles of the brush to soften the tops of the mountains again. Just to get a little bit more of that atmospheric perspective, We want to keep things in the distance very soft in general. So I don't really want any hard lines back there. And I'm also just using these bristles without any paints on them. Teoh kind of smooth out the sky a little bit, so just using it to blend between that lighter value and the dark blue value sky. And now I'm just wiping my fresh off off to the side in a paper towel just to get some of the excess paint off of it. So I can kind of just continue manipulating this pain, just kind of moving it around a little bit. I don't really want nice guy to be to smooth. I don't want, you know, just to really general greedy int here. I do like to have a couple brushstrokes showing. I just basically wanted to use my brush to soften things up a little bit, but not to the point where we just have kind of a monotonous radiance. Okay, so I'm using ultra Marine blue, my white going back into a couple of places in the water. I can just add some brushstrokes. This is a little bit lighter value than what I have on there initially. So I'm just picking a couple areas where I could just add a few expressive brushstrokes because I don't want the water back there just to be too flat. Also because the initial block in that I did was pretty thing. You can still see. Quite a bit of the toned canvas showing through. I'm just gonna start adding some strokes of color in here. And I don't have to concern myself too much with health. Thickly, I'm applying the paint because I'm not gonna have to do a lot of work in this area of the painting so I can go ahead and start using some nice imposter. Oh, strokes. Now I'm using some of that ultra marine blue, a little bit of my yellow. You can see what a bright, bold green this is. It's probably going to be maybe a little bit much. I'm going to start working on some of this mid ground landmass, and that definitely was just way too green. So I'm gonna add some of my red to it just to tone it down a little bit, keeping it nice and dark for now. But all do a little bit more work back there. So basically, I want this color to be a little bit more bold, a little less subdued than the distant mountain range. Because, of course, this is a little bit closer to us, but I still don't want it to be such that it's gonna compete with the foreground that will eventually lay in. So I'm just putting a nice dark base in for these land masses and we're gonna keep those very general. There's not much to them anyway. And then there's just a little bit of green here in the foreground. So I went ahead and just added a stroke of that while I have it on my palette. But as I said, I'm really not even going to start worrying about the foreground until I basically have the entire background in middle ground complete. So I'm almost treating this as though it's two different compositions. We have this really subdued, distant Melo background and mid ground that I'm gonna keep very, very loose. And this whole painting is going to be very losing painterly. But there's just going to be a lot more visual interest in the foreground. And so I'm working with the mindset of kind of two compositions, the background being very Melo and quiet, and then the foreground is going to have a lot more action. So I'm just adding this darker green. I just basically put a lot more blue into the mix, so it's a little darker, so I can add a little bit of a foundation at the base of some of those lines landmasses. And I'm gonna just kind of gently at a few strokes into the mountains. This probably wasn't really necessary, but I I think I decided that the mountains in some places were just a little bit too purple , and so I wanted Teoh bring some blue back in there, and you can see how soft the edge is, where the mountain range meets the sky. And I think that's really important when painting something like mountains because mountains air so large that we're usually seeing them at a great distance. And so having sharp, well defined lines doesn't really work with that atmospheric perspective. Now I'm just gonna add in a couple strokes of this darker, cool color. So there was a lot more blue and even red in there, and I'm just going to start defining some of these shadowed areas. But again, I don't want my brush strokes to be too harsh. I don't want my lines to be two solid. So trying, Teoh, Keep it very loose, painterly, trying to soften some of those edges. And one thing I always have to remind myself of, especially when working on backgrounds and things I want to keep very loose, is really not to over analyze it, not to overwork it. So this is probably going to be a good place to stop. 7. Block-In 3: Midground: Now that I have the background mountains and sky in a good place, I'm going Teoh work on wrapping up the mid ground. So this c and these couple of small land masses in the distance the first thing I'm going to dio I mixed up a little bit more of ah blue mixture. I let this remain a little bit darker and I'm using my palette knife just along the very edge just to add a little bit of this pains in an impostor style. And basically the purpose of doing this is going to just be Teoh really define the base or the foundation of these land masses so that they look a little bit more solid in comparison to the rest of the water. Also going to add just a little bit of palette knife to the water. Sometimes I like to just have a little bit of texture variation. Now, obviously, because this isn't the focal point of the painting here in the mid ground with water, I don't want to overdo it with the texture. I'm actually going to have a lot of texture in the foreground, but I think that that can really add to your painting. So I left the background the sky in the mountains a little bit less textured. And so I'm going to just gradually build more and more texture as I move Teoh the foreground in the focal point of this painting and add texture with a pellet. I've Sometimes you don't even actually have toe have much of any pain on the knife itself. You can just use the knife to shift the paint that you already have applied. So I did that just a little bit in the water area to So now I have a nice light green. So yellow blue, A little bit of red. Just so it's not too bright. And I'm going to use this Teoh, add a couple of breast strokes to these distant land masses just to give them a little bit more visual interest. And also Teoh, bring them more into the forefront as compared Teoh Mountain range. So I want this to be a little bit warmer of a green than anything that I used in the mountains, and I'm gonna add some red to this. I'm gonna let this be pretty dark going to be using this also on those land masses in the mid ground just to add a couple strokes of variation. Again, I'm not trying to render these distant land masses in any detailed way. I just want to have a little bit of color variety back there, a little bit of variety and value and temperature, so I'll just move that assign. Now I'm going to start using more of my fellow blue that is my warmer blue, whereas all the blues that I was using before were primarily the ultra marine blues, my cooler blue, which helps to kind of push those shapes into the distance a little bit. So now I'm going to start using more my warm blue on some objects that are more in the foreground or in the mid ground. And I'm also at this point I think I'm done with the mid ground for the most part. And even though the foundation of the foreground is fairly dark, I'm gonna go ahead and just start adding some strokes of this warm blue to the foreground, because I'm gonna have a lot of really bright, vivid, bold colors. Teoh create the houses and the buildings in the foreground, but I also need to have a nice, dark foundation for those bright colors to sit on. And so these dark colors may not show through, ultimately, to a great extent, but they will make a difference. They're gonna help anchor all those buildings down so that they don't appear as though they're kind of floating or disjointed. So that's why I'm applying this to the foreground. I should have switched over to my large flat brush to do this. It would have made it a little bit quicker, But sometimes you just end up working with whatever tool happens to be in your hand at the moment. And you just make Dio at some point in the painting process. As you get more experience and kind of learned to enjoy the process, you end up thinking a little bit less, doing more, thinking less, so that could almost be my motto. When I paint, I just love getting into that some. So now we're ready to start working on the foreground. 8. Block-In 4: Foreground: and no, I'm ready to start working on the foreground and start building up all these layers of buildings. And I already have a really nice dark base that I applied previously. So the next value that I'm going to dio is still pretty dark. But there is a little bit of white in there, and this you can see very clearly, is basically just your typical violet. I think I toned it down a little bit with maybe just a touch of yellow. But I am going Teoh, interpret the colors of this little town very loosely because what I really want to do is to emphasize how colorful and vibrant and busy the foreground town is compared. Teoh. Very subdued and calm, serene natural background. So this painting really is just going to be kind of a juxtaposition between the vibrance human civilization here in this Icelandic town, and then all the natural wonder behind it and the way that I approach a scene that just has a lot of information in it. So you can see that there's just so many individual buildings and houses in this scene. And for the purposes of my painting, I wanted to be very Impressionist. I wanted to be very painterly and loose. So I am not going to concern myself with getting every single building and house in here exactly the way it appears in the photograph. First of all, I'm going to exaggerate the colors, So I really want this town to be very bold and vibrant, and there's definitely a lot of color in the photo reference, but I'm actually going to boost that up quite a bit. And so this purple that I'm laying down is kind of the start of that process. Sometimes I just will pick color Teoh kind of exaggerate. And what I'm doing is I am trying to interpret a lot of the grays that I see in the photograph as these purples. I'm being a pretty thoughtful and where I lay all this down, but not so thoughtful that I'm actually drawing out individual buildings. I'm basically just applying brushstrokes to areas where when I squint my eyes, I see a lot of gray or a lot of dark colors in the photograph, and I'm gonna add some of this permanent rose to that mix. So this is going to be a nice, cool, red, and I'm going to start looking particularly in the photograph for areas that I see red. And so I'm just kind of building a foundation for these red roofs and some red buildings. Again, I am not thinking about, you know, Oh, I'm painting a red wall or in painting a red roof. I'm just thinking about brushstrokes and adding strokes of color where you see them in the photograph. I think it's really important. Teoh, remind yourself that when you're painting your not actually painting houses and thank goodness, because that would be really hard and we're also not building these houses, they're already built for us, and we're just getting the impression of them. So I really try to challenge myself to think very abstract li about what I'm painting. So I don't want to think about painting walls and roofs. I just want to think about laying down strokes of color, and I'm thinking of my photo reference really as inspiration for color rather than something I need to copy. And I think that that's really important, and it's something that I personally have to continuously remind myself as I'm painting, because I think It's very natural for us to get really wrapped up in detail and toe. Want Teoh feel like we're actually painting physical things that we see and even the most realistic rendered painting. It's still abstract because we, of course, are translating what we see in the real world into a two dimensional painting and not using more of my permanent rose. I also added some yellow, and you can see that this made this color much, much warmer even then, that previous read that we mixed and I'm going to use this. I don't want toe completely cover up all of those red strokes that I had before, but I just want to add again some strokes of really bright, bold color where I see red in the photo reference. But that cooler ride with more of the permanent Rosen not any yellow that does help to form a nice foundation or base for these brighter reds. That cooler red was almost a transition between the violet and this really bright, full red, and we're going to continue working on the foreground much in the same way we're going to be very loose and abstract. We're not going to be married to the photograph, and we're just gonna have fun with it. 9. Block-In 5: Foreground: I'm going to continue working on the foreground in a very loose and blocky way. Getting the impression of all these buildings is going to take quite a bit of layering and maybe a little bit of experimentation as well. So now what I'm doing is mixing up a little bit of grace. This is primarily that initial mix that I already had, and I added a little bit of my raw number to that a little bit more blue to really tone it down and again. I'm just looking for areas in the photo reference where I see a little bit more dark gray. I don't want to obscure the violence that I'm also using to interpret some of the really dark grays that I see. But I'm going to try to really identify large blocks where I can use this gray. I'm still working really hard just to think about blocks of color and value and temperature rather than thinking about painting buildings. And as long as you continuously remind yourself that you're not copying the photograph, it's just inspiration for you. I think that really helps you to relax your mind, loosen up a little bit and enjoy the process. It's now I'm using a lot more white, a lot more red in this mix. So this is a pretty light color, especially compared to what I have used so far. And I'm going to start just adding this to areas where I already have a little bit of red. And this is primarily just to start breaking down the larger brush strokes, not really for any other purpose. So I pretty well have the entire foreground covered with blocks there, of course, not very accurate right now. And I am trying. Teoh, at least generally work from my darker values and build up to my lighter values. So the lightest values are going to be some of the last ones that I add, and I'm starting Teoh define some of the buildings along the shoreline. These air, really the only buildings I'm going toe worry much about the shape of just because they might be really iconic to this area. So a lot of times that skyline some of the larger buildings, this is sort of what becomes the identity of a town or a city. So while I'm keeping all of these houses and rectangular buildings a little bit more general and loose and not really worrying about their proportions or, you know, getting them exactly the way that they look in the photograph. I do want to pay just a little bit more attention, Teoh the larger buildings closer to the shore line just because they're going to be a little bit more identifiable, more white and a lot of yellow. And now and what I'm going to do is I'm going to begin interpreting some of the lighter values that I see as yellow to begin with. So I will definitely be lightening up these values and just going to give them a nice yellow base. And I think that this does two things. I think it's a really good way. Teoh interpret things that appear almost white because, adding, a lot of white in here is going to make things look a little bit washed out. And I want a lot of saturation and vibrancy, so I'm going to start by interpreting all of those lightest values as yellow and then building them from there and now I'm just starting to break up some of those other blocks, and that's kind of just a a stylistic choice that I'm making. It's not something that you have to dio. I can't really explain why I do that other than in order to build up the impression of a lot of dizziness in this foreground. I don't want toe have any large blocks of just solid color. So I'm gonna try as much as I can just to break up some of the larger shapes as I move along. And I think that these air hotels over here on the right hand side, toward the sea. So I'm going, Teoh, try to kind of generally get the shape of those somewhat accurately as well. Now, one thing that's really important as we begin to build up thes blocks of color is that I have to be really careful not to apply my paint to thick because we have a lot more layers to dio in order to really bring out this city. So I'm trying to keep things relatively thin 10. Block-In 6: Adding Vibrant Color: I'm going to start looking for ways to incorporate some nice, bright, bold colors in here, and I want to definitely include a little bit of turquoise, even though I don't really see a lot of turquoise in the photo reference. I had just really liked her voice. So I use something a little blue, a little bit of my cool yellow and white, and I think it makes a really nice turquoise or teal, and I'm just going Teoh, add a couple of brushstrokes throughout the composition. I want to keep it balanced, but I don't want it to look too predictably dispersed throughout the composition. So I'm just looking for some areas that could use some brightening up. - I'm also continuing to look for ways to break up some of the larger shapes. So especially where right now it's still have quite a lot of these dark colors. The dark violets. I don't want to just lighten those up a little bit, and now we're mixing a nice, cool grey. I added more of my blue little bit more red and a lot of white, and so I can start identifying some areas that are getting a lot of light or they're just lighter in color. There's just a little bit of a road back there. I'm going to start trying to work on that, to make it look like a curved road by the sea. And I'm also going Teoh work a little bit more on these hotels. At least I'm just assuming that their hotels and their shape is a little bit difficult to really define. I'm definitely not going to go in with a little tiny brush and try Teoh render those hotels . But I do just want to at least give some small indications of their shape and maybe even what they are and again, just Kenny, using this color also to start breaking up some shapes by adding highlights in some areas. And I also want to make sure there's some differentiation between the values of the buildings right by the sea and the sea itself. So I'm gonna add some lighter values on top of those buildings just to distinguish those areas, to find them a little bit more 11. Block-In 7: Adding Vibrant Color: and now I'm going to continue on with some lighter values. But now I'm going to mix up a lighter yellow. So this is just gonna be some white, some yellow, and I'm going to start further defining some of the buildings that are already very yellow . They're right now. They're just a little too yellow. They almost look like mustard, and that really bothers me. So going toe, add some lighter yellow on top of some of these yellow buildings, just to kind of telling them down a little bit so they don't stand out quite so much. And also again, these are buildings that are essentially I'm identifying them is either being white or they're getting a lot of sunlight. So I'm going to go throughout this four grand composition and just add a little bit of this color we're needed and again, still just kind of using this very subjectively, adding it wherever I think that I need a little bit more contrast for one reason or another , or I just need to break up some of the larger shapes. It's always just going to be a process and requires a little bit of patients and also not getting caught up in details, but I'm making decisions based more on the composition that I am based on the actual photo reference right now. So just looking around and kind of deciding what is needed in that towel, I think painting something that's a little bit more complex can evolve over time. It's all those little decisions that accumulates and come together. Teoh create a bigger picture, - and I want to make sure I'm not just over doing it with one color and covering up all of my previous work. So I'm trying to shift colors pretty frequently, and now I'm mixing up kind of, Ah, very light green because there's just a few. I know it's really hard to see my photo reference in the corner there, but there's just a couple of rooftops that are kind of green, so I want to make sure I add those in there. And it's also important to keep in mind at this point that a lot of these dark spaces that are remaining in there, um, first of all, I will turn a lot of those into blocks that will be buildings. But I also need Teoh have room for all of the trees that are kind of poking through sporadically throughout the foreground composition. So I think once I get the trees in there, that's really going to help make things come together as well. And now I'm starting to think about how Teoh define some of the individual buildings, the only buildings. As I said before that I'm really making a point. Teoh, make them identifiable are some of the larger structures by the shoreline. And then there's just a couple of houses and row houses that are even more in the foreground that are easier to see, and so it's easier for me to kind of get their shape in there so that they're recognizable . Now I have mixed up this light, magenta or pain, and I'm just going to add some very minimal strokes throughout, especially where there's already some red just to kind of break up those shapes. And so, for me, the way that I'm approaching this, it really is just a process of working from larger brush strokes and then beginning Teoh break those down into smaller shapes as I go and I'm never trying. Teoh completely cover up the shapes that I have already made. I'm just trying Teoh add a little bit of nuance to, but in a way that's very subjective and really the purpose is just to add lots of blocks of different colors to make this look of very vibrant and colorful. 12. Beginning to Define Structure in the Buildings: I've now switched over to one of my fine liner brushes. And if you watch some of my other courses, you probably have never seen me switch brushes so much as I am in this course. And that's just because I think trying to do such a busy foreground with so many man made structures, so many geometric structures, it just requires a little bit different approach than my typical loose landscape paintings . So I'm definitely using a lot more brushes in this painting than they typically dio, but they all have a purpose. And so the purpose of using this fine liner is basically to start adding some definition to the geometric shapes in here that are representing the buildings. So I'm using this just to add some accents of color. Just I applied some just to help define the eve of a roof. And again, I'm using my color very, very subjectively. So I'm not actually seeing these bright pinks in my photo reference. But I'm just looking for ways to add a little bit of subtle contrast and to add a little bit more vibrant color throughout the composition, and I was running low on that magenta so I just mixed up a little bit more. Permanent Rose is a really great color for mixing magenta as it's even better than a lizard crimson. Even though lieser in crimson tends to be a more popular or widely used cool red, I really prefer the permanent Rose. For this reason. Sometimes you really need a nice bright magenta or fuchsia, and I'm working a little bit more on this hotel by the shoreline and the ways that I'm going to try to define that hotel, and I think there's another hotel right next to it. The shapes are pretty blocky and don't really have, ah, terribly unique shape, but I'm going to add some of the eaves. I'm gonna add some of the windows, and I'm hoping that those small, simple details will be enough. Teoh somewhat distinguished a couple of those buildings. I'm trying to be pretty judicious, and where I apply this, I don't want to overdo it. But at the same time, I don't want Teoh have to mix up five different colors to add some of these nuanced, defining points just to kind of help break up the shapes. So I'm going to stick with the pink. I don't think it's going to be an overwhelming or dominant color in this composition when all is said and done. But it seems like so far it's very effective in just adding a little bit of contrast. And also, this row of houses right in the front in the middle has some eaves on the roof. So this magenta works really nice just to kind of draw those in. And this is the closest I really ever feel when I'm painting Teoh drawing because typically I like to use a really large brush. I like to have my strokes be really big and bold, but I have these little brushes handy. Just in case of circumstance like this, I'm going to do the same thing with a more blue color, and I'm going to try Teoh, relegate most of this to areas that are a little bit darker in the composition, or maybe require a bit of work on the shadow side. And that's one thing to I didn't mention earlier, but a good way to help break down a kind of complicated composition where there's just a lot going on and it's hard to know where to start. Start with recognizing the white pattern. Start by identifying the direction the light is coming from, and so you can see how all these forms all these individual forms have light and shadow patterns. So you can kind of see that the shadow is over on the left side of these buildings, and some of these buildings were getting almost a 3/4 view of some were not summer head on , and we don't get a lot of shadow detail in those. But that really helps me to just make sense of all this visual information. If I can at least identify the light source and where the shadows are so I can keep those really consistent throughout the composition, I'm going to continue working with this small brush and this mix of blue paint just to help me continue to define some of the edges of these geometric shapes. But I'm starting to realize at this point that it's probably time for a break. I probably need to take a step back from this painting, and when I come back, I'll be able Teoh make decisions about what to do next, because with any composition or any painting that you're working on. I think it's important to at least step back. Give your eyes a rest from it. And right now I feel like there's just so many decisions that still need to be made, and it's going to be important for me just to kind of reset and come back to this with fresh eyes. 13. Take a Break to Get a Fresh Perspective: Okay, So I took a couple hours away from this painting, and when I came back, the first thing I noticed was that I think that my sky is still just a little bit dark, and I want to just brighten it up a little bit. So mixing up some white, some of my fellow blue, and I also I just want to add some really bold palette knife strokes to this guy just to liven it up a little bit. I don't want a lot of texture in the sky, obviously, because that's part of how I want to kind of achieve ah hierarchy in this painting. I want the background in the sky to not have a lot of texture in it. And then the middle ground, which is the sea. It has just a little bit of texture in it from some palette knife. And then there's gonna be a lot of texture in the foreground. Because as I am building up these structures for this little Icelandic town, I'm using increasingly thick applications of paint. So lots of imposter going on in the foreground. I'm gonna add just a little stroke. Teoh, see back closer to the mountain and seemed like that stroke was a little bit bold. So I'm just using my fine liner, which actually doesn't have any paint on it at all, just to kind of blend that in a little bit. Just adding some accents or highlights back there where the sky is reflecting a little bit more and I don't want all of that mid ground Teoh be too monotonous. And now I'm going to use just the bristles of this brush. Doesn't have any paint on it, Um, just to kind of smooth out some of this texture. I don't want to completely take it away, but I don't want it to be quite as bold maybe as it is, because I don't want it to be too distracting. And I also want to keep those edges that separate the sky from the tops of these mountains . Obviously, those mountains are pretty well defined. I just don't want those edges to be too hard. I want those edges to be a little bit soft, and after you take a break from your painting and you come back to it, you may not want to just jump directly back into the most challenging aspect of the painting. So it was kind of nice that I was able to just identify a part of this painting that I could touch up a little bit and just kind of get warms back up before we jump back into the foreground, standing a few strokes of a darker blue up here because I lost quite a bit of that. Essentially, I just wanted to brighten up that sky a little, but it seemed almost too close in value to the rest of the background. And I just went to ads kind of expressive strokes into the sky to again. Just so all those strokes aren't just going in the same direction. I like to add a little bit of energy here and there with just very subtle brushstrokes. I'm gonna add just a little bit of this lighter blue into some part of the sea that maybe are getting a little bit more sunlight and some yellow to this mix to find this little island a little bit more. And these are all very light brushstrokes that I'm adding because I don't want Teoh. Use the bristles of the brush to scrub away some of the what paint I already have on there . And I tried not to apply that paint to thick, but just a light touch just to add a little bit more color, starting to work a little bit more on the buildings. I think I'm ready to get back into that. 14. Pushing Color & Value to Add Visual Interest: I'm ready now after my break and my kind of just easing back into this painting, ready to get back into that foreground and really get this wrapped up. Sometimes you just need to give your eyes a break and then come back to your painting to really have a more objective sense of what needs to be done next. And when I look at the foreground, I do see that there is a lot of color and vibrancy. My aim here, though, is to really push those colors. And so I'm realizing that I need even brighter and bolder colors to push this painting forward. So the first color that I've mixed up is just a really bright yellow. And this is something that doesn't really come terribly naturally to me because I do a lot of landscape paintings. I do a lot of figures and portrait's and natural objects, and so I'm almost always using some toned down peller. I'm almost never using really bright, pure colors. But just for the effect of this painting, the way that I want to really push all the colors and vibrancy in this little Icelandic town, I am just gonna have to step out of my comfort zone a little bit, I think, and really go bold with some of these colors. So in the process of doing this time, I end up losing a few of the details I have in there so far. But that's really nothing to worry about. I'm starting to think about where Windows might be on some of these buildings, especially the ones that are more viewable so more in the foreground. And when I add windows, um, you can actually see there's a building with two triangular shapes above it and what I did for those windows as I basically started with a dark shape. And then I started crisscrossing the whiter colors on top just to give the impression of lots of windows, like as if that's an office building or something. But in the houses where there's just gonna be a couple of windows, just a simple small brush stroke will do the trick just fine. I don't need to worry about making windows perfectly rectangular or square or whatever, and that's the great thing about painting in an Impressionist style. We can just let a brushstroke dio so much for us you could Tennessee the shape of this hotel back here, starting to come through as I add some of these nice, bright yellows to it. You can see a little bit of the shape a little bit more clear than before. And when I squint my eyes and look at this, these bright yellows there really just popping out and going back Teoh talking about the atmosphere perspective, of course, that's what we want. We want the foreground to really stand out and pop out in front of the background in the mid ground. And so I think, by really focusing on using bright, bold, vivid colors that's going to make achieving this very, very easy in this particular composition. And it's good to remind yourself to what your goal for this composition that you're working on is. Mine, of course, is that juxtaposition between all the natural beauty of Iceland and then this amazing, lively civilization right by the sea. So we have the juxtaposition of nature, and then this man made city going back in with a little bit more of that really nice to her voice again, not a color I'm really seeing in the composition or in the photo reference, but something that I just personally want to add. And you should definitely feel free to do that. If you have a color that you think would just really make this composition yours, you should use it. And you should just start throwing it around, adding it like I am to places that just maybe need a little bit more definition, a little bit more contrast. And I really need Teoh match the vibrancy of that bright yellow. So I really needed to come back in with a little bit more of this turquoise. I can still see the areas where I had applied a turquoise before. That turquoise was actually a lot more muted than this one. This one. I'm really allowing myself just to go bold, which is kind of fun for me again because I am so accustomed to using really muted and toned down colors. And so I'm also going to bring up some of these Green proves with a much brighter green because that green I have used before very similar or maybe a little bit too close to the greens that I used in the mid ground in the background you can see just with this little bit of work and adding some really bright, bold colors. I'm really starting to see this part of the composition come together. 15. Creating More Structure in the Buildings: Okay, so I'm gonna mix up a really nice, dark and rich kind of indigo color. There is a little bit of red in there, but it's mostly blue. And I'm going to use this First of all, Teoh. Also add Cem crisscross marks to some of these buildings in the background. Teoh, make some windows. Teoh. Add a couple of defining features onto some of these buildings just in general. Adding a little bit of definition here and there In this side of the hotel, I decided, You know, I like the turquoise. That adds a lot of contrast, but I really need Teoh. Indicate some shadows. So I just added a couple strokes over to the left hand side of that hotel. Just dark in that a little bit. And whereas a lot of my initial work on the foreground here were horizontal strokes, Teoh indicate some of the rooftops or some of the sides of the buildings that were very visible. I also need to go in in add some vertical strokes. Teoh, give a couple of these buildings a little bit more form. Now I'm going to use a lighter blue. This is a little bit of a grey, in fact, again, just to kind of break up some of these shapes, especially where things are still pretty dark. Keeping in mind you know which direction the light is coming from and hitting these buildings. So anything that's facing forward seems to be getting a lot of lights. And then wherever I can see walls or shapes over to the left of where I'm trying to establish a building, those are tending to be in shadow. So I want to have that pattern consistent throughout the composition. And even though this isn't really a bright, vibrant color, like the turquoise in the yellow, it's still a much lighter value. And so it is helping Teoh bring some of these darker areas more into the forefront and trying to just define that road back there a little bit. It's obviously not a huge feature, but it's kind of the only part of the foreground that isn't just buildings, so I want to make sure to include it. So I mixed up a kind of another light cool gray and didn't really I think I would need it right away. And so then I mix up a yellow and now I'm just going to kind of go between those. So you can see I'm just adding very quick, simple brushstrokes to create the effect of windows, adding a few defining lines to roofs with the slider Valium, using a very small brush again, this isn't my fine liner, but it is quite small brush, especially compared to what I used to using. But again, I want Teoh add enough definition in here so that I really have the impression of a little town with just lots of buildings that are very close together. And the fun thing about this to about using all these colors again is that I really don't have to think too much about mixing up a certain color. I just get Teoh, use lots of bright, bold colors and put little strokes all over the place. And I think that in the end it's gonna come together really, really nice. 16. Using Color Subjectively: and keeping in line with this idea that I want to have a lot of really bold, bright color in the foreground to create these buildings. I'm kind of looking around in the composition to see what might be missing, and I decided I need a little bit of orange here and there. It's amusing my permanent rose and my warm yellow some whites to mix up a nice bright orange. And I think that I'll start out by just adding some highlights on these red roofs with the orange. So again not covering up anything, just breaking up those larger shapes by adding some highlights of orange here and there. And now I'm using this a little bit more. Just add some features to some of the structures. At this point, I think that the little town is really coming together. It was just still a few things that I want to do just to brighten it up. And Teoh further define at least some of these more prominent buildings. So that last orange that I had created had a lot of white in it, and this one I just used my permanent rose on my warm yellow to creates more of a red orange, and it's much bolder because it doesn't have any white. And that's kind of bringing together. I think a lot of these areas where I had that light or injure peach color and then it was just like read. And so this is almost in between color to kind of bring a couple things together, and I can also use it here and there just to add definition and contrast. And that's really what I'm looking for. When I'm mixing colors at this point, it's really just to add visual interest. So everything kind of just has a purpose in terms of making the composition brighter and more vibrant and also adding a little bit of contrast where needed. Now this mix is basically just Failla blue, and I put some of my imposter so liquid medium in there just to make it a little bit more workable, and I'm using this just to add really small brush strokes for windows in some of the buildings that are more visible. Also going to use it. Teoh help define a few small features here and there, and also I'm using it to create the effect of windows in this distant green building. I think it's probably some kind of office building, so I'm just using Chris Process to give the impression of lots of windows and want to put some windows on this little. But because it's that bright yellow color, I'm not sure that I really want to use such a dark color to create those windows. So I might pulled off from that just for a beds and work on some of these buildings that are a little bit closer to the foreground. All right, so what I basically decided to Dio was just Teoh. Wipe off some of the excess paint on this brush so that there isn't much pigment on the brush, and I'm just very lightly adding some very, very small windows into these distant hotels, and I think that really does the trick. It kind of breaks up that big, bright yellow geometric shape just by adding a couple strokes in there for windows 17. Defining "Detail" with Small Strokes: Now I'm just going to continue on adding a little bit more definition here and there. Really, though, at this point, if I squint my eyes, I could probably be pretty satisfied with the impression of this little town that I have already. Sometimes this is just a matter of again needing a little bit of a break so that you can be a little bit more objective in your decision making. But definitely there's a couple more windows I can define. There are some eaves that maybe I could define a little bit more, but at this point it's really just kind of being finicky. And I think if I had just taken another break here when I came back to this, I think I could have been pretty well satisfied with it because it's very, very close to being completely finished. So I'm going. Teoh mix up another really, really light color. This is actually probably the lightest value that I've used so far anywhere in this painting, and it's just white and blue, mostly white, just a live a little bit of blue, and I'm just going to use this to add some accents that I want Teoh read as white without actually just using pure white anywhere in this composition. You know, maybe certainly some of these strokes were pretty necessary because it really is helping to define some of these shapes a little bit more and adding a little bit to the vibrancy. Overall, I just don't want to overdo it. I don't want to overwhelm the composition with this really light value, because that would kind of defeat the purpose of it as serving as an accent or highlights. So I want to be pretty cautious in where I apply this. I don't want to be too liberal or generous with this application. Definitely the roof of this hotel needed a little something, - and I'm just looking for any more large shapes that haven't been broken up with windows. And just adding a few strokes for windows to those doing that really helps Teoh make the composition look a little bit more complete without adding actually a lot of detail in there. Now I'm going to mix up a nice bright green for especially that grass in the foreground that's next to that curved road, but also to start marking in where some of the trees are and for the trees. I'm just keeping those a very simple shape. I'm definitely not worried about mimicking the shapes that I see in the photo reference. I'm just gonna keep those very loose in general. 18. Adding Trees (Organic Shapes): At this point, I think that I'm pretty well finished with all of the buildings. And so I'm just going in now toe add some of the trees and this is a really good way to break up a lot of those really geometric shapes by adding some nice organic shapes here and they're peeking through and kind of just breaking up those really straight lines. And again, I'm not concerning myself too much with the photo reference, other than a few really prominent trees that I want to make sure I get in place. But otherwise I'm just kind of adding them where I think that they are really needed, just kind of break things up a little bit and add a little bit of visual interest. And I'm keeping the shape very simple, kind of just imagining that maybe they're all some kind of ever green tree, and right now they're very flat. So I am going Teoh, help Teoh model them a little bit, just the same way that I'm doing with the building. So I'm thinking about the direction of light, and so I'm mixing up a nice bright green with lots more yellow in there And this is what I'm going to use over on the right side of all of these trees just to add a little bit of sunlight hitting them in the photo reference. All the trees are fairly dark and almost flat looking in terms of they don't have a lot of variation of value or temperature. But for the purposes of my painting in my composition, I am going Teoh, add just a little bit more interest in there. And using this really bright, yellowish screen also helps with the atmosphere perspective because it really pushes everything in the foreground forward as compared to the greens that I have in the mid ground, in the background. And so you can see that very clearly at this point. And I decided that maybe I even need a little bit more shadow. So I just mixed up some fellow blue, some ultra marine blue and a little bit of my yellow got in there, and I'm just gonna add some of this darker value over on the left side of all these trees. I don't want to cover up that first screen that I laid down and just want to add a little bit more of an impression of shadow on the trees and usually on most tree is just one little breaststroke should do the trick. - And now I'm just blending some of these greens a little bit so that those brushstrokes are not so disparate from one another. So I'm not really adding any more paints in the trees. I'm just using the bristles of my brush to kind of bring some of those values a little bit closer together. 19. Final Details & Reflecting on the Process: as I near of the very end of this painting. I just want to take a moment to remind you where we started with this foreground. And you might even want to go take a quick look back at that video just to remind you that we really started out with some very simple brushstrokes, really, of very much disjointed shapes. So never at any point waas I sitting here and drawing out individual buildings and filling them in with paints. What I've done here is I've kind of just built up this scene, and that does require some patients. It requires just having a little bit of faith in your own process. I have to admit that when I'm working on scenes like this that are a little bit more complex and require a lot of patients and building, I definitely dio find myself wondering if it is all going to come together in the end. And so I think that my best advice is just Teoh. Take the time Teoh, analyze your process, but not too much time to where you are stifling yourself or you really are sitting and trying to draw and render all of these individual shapes. This is really important to keep in mind, especially if you are wanting to dio things like cityscapes or Impressionist paintings that include any kind of architecture or complex subjects. Even painting a single house. I would apply these same principles to, and I would start out with very general lose brushstrokes and begin to build that over time rather than drawing out every detail of the house to begin with. And so, as I move on with this painting and I get really close to the end, I'm just looking for areas that I want to re emphasize. And so I'm mixing up some small piles here that I can use just to accent certain areas. I'm gonna use this really sunshiny light yellow, just to add a touch of sunlight to some of the trees. - And I know you can't see it very well because my reference photo is covering it. But I just mixed up a little bit more of a yellowish orange. And again, I'm just going throughout the composition. This is a little bit of me, maybe nit picking a little bit too much, but I'm just wanting to add some really bright highlights here and there. A little bit of contrast. Kind of break up, especially those big, light yellow shapes. I think that they just needs to be broken up a little bit more, adding some highlights to the roofs, red groups in particular and just adding some contrast and visual interest where I think that I still need just a little bit. - And now I think that I am ready. Teoh, call this painting complete and get cleaned up. And then I'm going to show you this painting in a little bit better light so you can really see how this all came together. 20. Final Thoughts: thank you so much for joining this course. I hope that you learned that just by using expressive Impressionist brush strokes, you can build up a lot of detail and complexity. Let me just show you the finished painting. It's a little hard to see with my studio lights creating a little bit of glare, so I'm gonna just pick it up and show you a little bit closer. How this turned out, as I said before doing an Impressionist painting that has seemingly a lot of detail, and it it really just takes a little bit of patients and trust in the process. I hope that you'll give this a try, and I really look forward to seeing your projects and hearing from you. Thank you. 21. Process Overview (Timelapse):