Simon Bland

A Blog About Oil Painting

A Work in Progress - Across the River in Maryland -

by Simon Bland / Dec 12, 2014 / Painting Landscape WIP

A painting of fields and barn in Jefferson MD WIP

Work in Progress: Jefferson, MD. 12x24, oil on linen panel. 2014. 

The area of Virginia where I live is as green as a salad bowl in the summer months and there are few places with flat, open terrain and an unobstructed view of the distance.  Across the river in Maryland, the land is still commercial agricultural use and there are some unique scenes waiting to be painted.

When I venture into Maryland I often take a camera so that if something catches my eye I will be prepared.  I came across this scene while driving home on Friday afternoon in late summer after buying a pie in Jefferson.

I am taking my time with this painting and did a full color block in with a very thin layer of opaque paint (which is what you can see in the image above).  My goal was to get the key of the painting right from the outset and I thought this would be the best way to do that.  The painting is now sitting to one side in my studio to dry before I paint over this layer, although I keep attacking it every couple of hours to make changes to the trees.

A painting of fields and a barn in Jefferson MD - WIP

Work in Progress: Jefferson, MD. 12x24, oil on linen panel. 2014.

Here it is with the next layer down and the main painting work done.  The final touches will be to get the right feel of light in the trees and enhance the atmospherics in the distance. Those don't take a long time to do (usually) but I need to wait until this layer is dry before I can start the final part. One benefit of doing this as the last step is that it will allow me to revisit the trees, which are one of the most significant parts of this landscape, and adjust their relative importance and position in relation to the overall view - it is very hard to do this before you get a sense of the whole.

A painting of harvested wheat field, a red barn and the Blue Ridge mountains in Jefferson MD

Jefferson, MD. 12x24, oil on linen panel. 2014.

This is the finished painting with the final layers applied.  I tried not to overdo the scumbling and just kept it to a few strokes here and there to help break up some edges and modify the value in some shapes.