Demonstration: Landscape on a Palette

[1] This was a special project created for a gallery who offers the art of well-known painters on painting palettes of all sizes and shapes for an annual Holiday exhibition and sale.

Before deciding on a subject to paint, I shopped for the palette. I chose a standard curved wooden palette approximately 15 x 20 inches. After lightly sanding one side of the palette, a coat of gesso was applied in random fashion. This offered a toothy ground for any media to hold well.

Why did I choose this horizontal orientation? Primarily because the grip and thumb hole tend to look like a smiling fish when turned to the right. Whatever the subject painted, this "smile" could have been prominent and I did not want that to impact the painting.

[2] I will use acrylics as time is short - I did not want to send a wet painting to the gallery. The painting will not be framed but rather be mounted on nice table easel so it can be displayed on a wall or tabletop.

With many photographs to choose from, I elected to paint a scene I had shot from my hotel room at Niagara Falls while there to participate in the Annual Worldwide Paint Out. It is a very early sunrise over the Horseshoe falls

So with a quick spray of water to break the tension of the surface I first lay-in a preliminary sketch using Alizarin Crimson/Viridian mix. The board was not steady on my easel so you'll notice the support of another canvas behind it.

Detail Photos:

[3] Before the first layer dried, I made a mixture of Cadmium Yellow Medium and Vermilion to fill-in the sky and a thinner application of paint for the rest of the surface. The bulk of the image will be violet and blue so I wanted to have a warmer underpainting to offer more a glow to this piece.

Detail Photos: