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Friday, May 2, 2014

Painting a Large Triptych

Before I tackle the subject of painting a large scene across three canvases, I want to show you how the chicken planter painting turned out that I was painting last week.  Here is the completed painting.

Copyright Mona Vivar, Marigold Chicken, 12 inches by 16 inches, acrylic on canvas
Private Collection
This week I am working on a large commissioned scene of Denali, Alaska.  I am excited about this job because the mountain landscape will extend across three canvases measuring 36 inches by 24 inches each.  I am using several photographs provided by my client and my own impression of this beautiful place.
First, I had to make my work space efficient.  I put all three of my easels close together, placed studio lighting from both the right and left sides and placed two trash cans within easy reach.  My easel is to the far right and is not shown in the photo.  I toned all three canvases with yellow ochre acrylic paint.  These will be acrylic paintings.
I then sketched basic horizon lines with a mix of ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson.  I placed mountains, hills, lake and forefront on the canvases making sure that the lines flow across all three.  I even drew myself an arrow in the left upper corner of the painting indicating which direction the light in the painting would be coming from.
I then start applying paint at the top in order to establish the sky.  I used a palette knife for the start.  I will be using the palette knife throughout the creation of this piece along with brushwork as needed.
There will be many adjustments as I climb this mountain range, so be sure to check back to see my progress.