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Fog Lifting on Christmas Day

Posted by Peter Senesac on 29th Mar 2019

This is actually the third time I thought this one was finished. This is oil on canvas panel and its 11 x 14 done from a sketch done at the Sweetwater Wetlands Park on Christmas day. The day was beautiful. Crisp clear skies and cool temp. I re-imagined the lighting to make it a gray, overcast sky. When I got around to doing the oil painting I was working from a color sketch in watercolor pencil from several weeks before done on gray toned paper. I was seeing the atmosphere of the distant trees in the sketch. It was more than was there that day but I was seeing it in the sketch. I had no photos from the actual day. I liked the moodiness and the vagueness of the sketch because, in this instance, I was able to translate the sketch into a completely different mood than what the actual weather was showing me. It makes working from location drawings more fun when the preliminary work sparks my imagination instead of trying to use photos to create a mood. It also means I can stare at this same sketch again some time and come up with an entirely different picture. This one will be in my booth at Spring Arts Fest April 6 and 7.

the original sketch 5 x 7 on watercolor paper with Inktense color blocks and a brush pen
Once I got started on this toned canvas my plan completely changed from an abstract of color bands like the sketch to this more realistic impression of the imagined day. This is when I first thought it was done
After looking at it for a couple of days I thought it needed more light in the sky. Again I thought it was done.
Another day or so of staring at it on the wall and I decided I didn't like the sky. It was toomuch distance and the idea of fog was lost. So I brought the sky down to the tree line. I also added some reflections to the foreground.

Back on the wall and more days went by. I felt the light on the land caused by a ray of sun light wasn't explained by the sky. Michelle suggested adding some blue to the sky. this is the final version . At least until after April 6 and 7 for the Spring Arts Show.