This was my fourth oil painting and first original composition. Using pencil and paper, I roughed out this simple sketch. I decided to use a canvas size of 12×16. Before this painting, I would select colors from a large pallet of oil paints in my studio and do a little mixing of colors. However, this painting was my first time using a limited color pallet. Please enjoy my tutorial “Peaceful Connecticut Valley in Autumn” by John O’Keefe Jr.
Composition and Materials – “Peaceful Connecticut Valley in Autumn”
- Support: Pre-Stretched & Mounted Medium Textured Cotton Canvas (Acrylic Primed)
- Size: 12 x 16 inch
- Medium: Winsor & Newton Winton Student Grade Oil Paints
(Ultramarine Blue, Viridian, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Titanium White, Raw Umber, Cadmium Red, and Lemon Yellow)
- Finish: Winsor & Newton Dammar varnish
Step-By-Step Tutorial – “Peaceful Connecticut Valley in Autumn”
(Note: The progress photos are not the best quality concerning accurate color representation. However, the finished painting photos represent the actual colors.)
Using a medium-sized brush, I blocked in the sky, distant land features, near land features, and the initial layer of the dirt road.
The painting had too many blues, so I changed the sky colors, distant left features, and the field. I blocked in, using raw umber, my hills to the left and right, and added details to the dirt road, such as the wagon tracks. Finally, I began to add lighting and shadows across the field and the road.
It was time to add the house and the smaller trees next to it. In front of a large field was the house. To the left and right are small trees and shrubs.
Day 4: Composition Ideas for Adding Trees
I originally intended to add trees to this painting; however, after the trial runs, I was unsure about adding them. The final oil painting does not have trees. One day (If I do not varnish the painting first), I may add trees when I feel more comfortable creating them.
Day 4: Lighting Adjustments
I changed the field beyond the house to a body of water and added light and shadow along the road, envisioning the sun setting and casting long shadows. I painted the shoreline along the far side to make the water look believable.
However, after looking at this painting for a while, I was not pleased with the lighting along the sides. Using my computer, I played around with various lighting changes. I wanted to get the setting sun reflected in the foreground hills to the left and right. My final concept is with a before (Day 4 painting) / after (Day 4 digital edits) image.
The changes from Day 4 are in this final picture.
Finished Painting – “Peaceful Connecticut Valley in Autumn”
I hope you enjoyed my tutorial “Peaceful Connecticut Valley in Autumn” by John O’Keefe Jr.