Massies Corner Demo

Armand Cabrera

1. This is a beautiful overlook about twenty minutes from where I live. Many people and galleries claim an aversion to green paintings. I have always painted them and enjoy the challenge of capturing the different shades of green.
It was a perfect spring day and I decided to paint a medium sized 24×30 canvas. This is a preparatory painting for a larger 30×40 version that I will also paint from life.

2.I quickly draw my main areas in with a large brush. I’ve exaggerated the height ratio of the mountain to increase its drama and I’ve sloped the foreground more than it really is to create opposing angles in the design.

3.Starting with the mountain I block in the shadow shifting its color attributes as it comes forward towards the middle ground. The middle ground is also established increasing the contrast and color saturation between the elements compared to the background.

4.I finish off the sky color and then rough in the foreground grasses making sure to capture the temperature shifts and warmer hues.

5.Starting in the background I develop the form of the mountain and the middle ground trees by adding the sunlit sides to the geometric planes that are the underlying structure there.

6.Working on the foreground trees I model their shapes and add details. I also add detail to the foreground grasses. At this stage I continue to develop details for another twenty minutes.

7.The finished painting ‘Massies Corner’ 24×30 oil on linen. Working from big to small back to front I am able to finish the painting in just over three hours. By mixing my greens and carefully orchestrating their temperature and hue I’ve avoided the monotony green paintings can succumb to.

9 thoughts on “Massies Corner Demo

  1. Great demo. I particulary liked observing the development of the trees on the left and how you established their shapes and relative warmth early in the process.

  2. Armand:
    Very fast, and authoritative. No wasted effort. You have an excellent command of the difficulties of painting all that green.The same people who complain about green pictures will be telling me they can’t sell snowscapes in a few months. That’s after they tell me that autumn scenes have too much orange in them………..Stape

  3. The foreground in the painting is very impressive ,so is the observation of what at first seems a pretty dull scene tonally from the evidence of the first photo,you cover a lot of canvas in three hours too,are we talking inches or centimetres!?
    Trees in this light can appear a formless mass of texture which does not help, niether does the light slightly changing as evidenced by the photos.
    P. Howlett Gubbio

  4. Thanks everyone for the comments.
    Paul-the scene is a lot more dramatic than the camera or my painting shows.

    Stapleton- I agree about people complaining; like our paintings are a line of clothing that need to be changed every season.

    Matthew- sorry I don’t know how to do that.

  5. Armand- If you go to your Picassa album ( you can choose the image, and then in the right hand column, click on “link.” Copy that address, then go back to your blog, highlight the image in the edit screen, click the link icon in the tool bar, and paste the address you copied from your Picassa album. Sounds convoluted, I know. I was informed recently that when I move photos around in my blog, I keep losing the links to the larger images. I guess this is one way to re-establish the links. I usually end up loading the images into Photobucket when I want to use the larger images, and link to that album instead.

    Is the image on your website?

  6. Wow , three hours. As Stapelton said your fast and authoritaive. I love how the grass looks, I wish you had a larger image as well.

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