Mountain Heath - 42" X 42" (106cm X 106cm) - OOC

edited January 22 in Post Your Paintings

This is our mountain, Kunanyi, in summer. The low cloud cast a shadow, but small breaks in the cloud weakly lit some areas such as the ridge and bushes at left and front center. And the land beneath the mountain and the distant coast was in sunshine.  So although it's a bit dull in parts I thought there was enough light and color to make a painting of it. 

I wanted to paint this because I like the way the bushes up on the mountain form cushion shapes that create paths for the eye to follow. In winter they are buried in thick snow so that you don't realize the bushes are there. You can walk over their tops. 

This is a large painting. It took about a week to paint, which is fast for me. The photo was taken at night and the color is not the best but it gives an idea of the painting. I played around with it in Affinity Photo but I probably made it worse. I'll take it outside tomorrow and photograph it in sunshine. 

Anyway, I got the canvas covered tonight so thought I'd ask for feedback. All comments/critiques/suggestions gratefully accepted.  :)




  • Bloody hell, I swear I can see the fog/mist moving as I look at the water and land in the distance!!
    Love the light in the distance.
    Only thing I am not entirely sure of, and not sure if it would be better or worse without; is the far left bottom corner bush and trunks.   Perhaps because the 2 are together and there is no daylight between, they just seem a bit.....?....affected?...Not sure, and not sure that they are not actually a good thing to have in that spot.    What do I know?; I know nuthink.
  • edited January 15
    Thanks, @toujours. I'm glad you think it works despite the low hanging cloud.  :)

    Those trunks at lower left are really there, but may be I should make them less prominent. I'll play around with it in Affinity to see if I can rearrange things.

    Thanks for your comments.  :)

  • My favourite part. Seeing the background through the foreground.
  • Thanks, @heartofengland. I liked that, too.   :)
  • CJDCJD -
    edited January 15
    What makes this a nice painting for me is the green color up front and the interesting shapes and positioning of all the bushes. 
  • I think the best would be to stand in front of it and give work to your eyes on those many details. But... Failing that, I'd agree on an additional close up photo. ;)
  • Like above, I like the foreground background contrast as well as the balance in interest between the rocks on the right and the bushes on the left. The distant fields and coast contrast very nicely with the colourful foreground. This captures the scene very nicely with the message from mother nature: look at me at will but I won't let you take a step further. It makes me want to discover this place and wander around. The wild bushes and complexity are rendered wonderfully. Beautiful beautiful!
  • edited January 15
    What was your process for painting the thousands of spots / leaves? 

    Did you do a bush at a time? Or stick with a particular colour and find it in the landscape? 
  • Stunningly beautiful! 
  • edited January 16
    Thank you, @CJD, @outremer, @adridri and @whunt. I really appreciate your comments. :)

    @heartofengland, I worked from an image I developed in Affinity Photo. I used my tablet screen for color and printed photos for form.  I painted each bush separately because, although they look green from a distance, there is a lot of variation in colour, especially in the foreground bushes - there are flecks of green, red, orange, yellow, violet and white.  Here are some close ups that shows the different colors in the bushes:

  • You certainly can pick your subjects. Imagine this on a wall creating a sense that you're overlooking the world!
    The close-ups display your endless patience. I assume you sketch it in sections in some way for placement first. Do you lay down a darker colour and paint over it, ie, Dark => branches => foliage as a general approach? Do you start at back and move towards foreground? It seems that the layering calls for it. And are the dots done with pointed rounds? I'm interested in which brushes can you dab the points of without ruining the brushes.
  • Thanks, @Abstraction. :)

    I sketch just a few lines to show me where the edges of bushes are. I lay down a very dark violet to begin with and then paint progressively lighter strokes on top. For all the details in this one I used fluid paint and soft, pointed sables (synthetic and natural). They seem to stand up pretty well to the dabbing treatment providing you're gentle with them. The sky was painted with large (No. 12) flat bristle brushes. :)
  • The dark violet is counter-intuitive to me but clearly correct and puts some atmosphere into it. Is that the dioxazine violet? Do you neutralise it with something? I love the incredible depth here, and our mind fills in the rolling edge of the mountain down before the distance appears. I love suggested space and making the viewer create what has not been painted.
  • edited January 16
    Thanks, @Abstraction. Yes, I used Dioxazine violet and neutralized it with Arylide yellow dark. This  gave me an almost black.  Dioxazine violet is very powerful and without neutralizing it, it would overpower everything it touched. It's like the Phthalos in that respect.  But it's great for making really deep, rich blacks.  It's lightfastness was called into question here recently but I have confidence that Langridge uses the highest quality pigment and that it is lightfast.

    Your comment about the drop off into the distance makes me happy. I'm glad it comes across because it is one of the things that made me want to paint this scene. :)
  • Fantastic work.  Have you thought of doing a tryptic of these large paintings?  Three paintings of this size overlooking a grand view?   This way when you stand back your immersed in the scene.  A tryptic like that would be beautiful in a large community building or museum.
  • Thanks very much, @GTO.

    A triptych - that's not a bad idea. Three this size would be a massive undertaking but it would be worth considering for one of the big landscape competitions. This one could be the center piece and on each side there would more rocky landforms which is what is actually there. I'm going to keep the idea in mind.  :)
  • @tassieguy You might approach your gallery representation about that idea.  They may know of clients that would commission that undertaking.  That way you could design it specifically for the space intended.  A bit more work involved but certainly worth the effort.
  • Thats breathtaking!  The mist is very intelligently done. Congrats
  • @tassieguy

    Fantastic work Rob,

    I love the ebb and flow of those undulating branches and you have captured the haze of the distance wonderfully.
  • Wonderful work as always. I don't really have anything else to add that has not already been stated
  • tassieguy said:
    A triptych - that's not a bad idea.
    But resist the temptation to do a Douglas Adams: "The Hitchhiker's Guide to Kunanyi: A Triptych in Four Parts."
  • Richard_P said:
    Wonderful work as always. I don't really have anything else to add that has not already been stated
    You could save this quote and reuse for everyone's paintings.
  • Hey Rob, I love this painting!! It really shows off your specialty.
    Like the above comments one of my favourite parts is that little foreground sprig poking up.

    I have a couple minor suggestions, the first of which being that I really enjoy your darker teal section in the background and since the little branch sticking up into the lighter area is so effective, it might look really nice to have some pieces of teal poking through the branches on the other side as well.

    My other idea would be to make the small green hill and the futher away part of the stone cliff a little bit bluer as it recedes to push the atmospheric perspective a little bit and ease the transition from foreground and background a bit.

    Here is little scribble of what I mean. Anyhow, this is such a gorgeous picture and I love how all the tiny pieces come together as a whole!
  • Thanks very much @MichaelD, @Richard_P, @Abstraction and @StephanHM. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

    @Abstraction, I love Douglas Adams but in art a tetraptych doesn't do much for me.  :)

    @StephanHM, thanks for those ideas. I like them and will use them.  :)

  • Wonderful. I think I know where you were standing for this one, not too far from the lookout?  I like your suggestions @StephanHM
  • edited January 17
    Thanks, @Roxy.

    Yes, it is less than a kilometer SSW of the lookout which is to the left (NNE) of this view. If you turned 90 degrees left you would see the lookout with Hobart below. :)
  • Beautiful as always! I’m so impressed with how you are able to create beautiful work so quickly! Everything takes me forever and a day! Lol
  • Thanks very much, @Allie.
    I'm retired so I can devote all my time to painting. If I were still working I wouldn't be able to do them so fast.  :)
  • So beautiful Rob.  I also love the distant foggy atmosphere and the stark contrast created by the foreground.  Your details are incredible in all that greenery in the foreground.  You're so blessed to live with this kind of beauty around you.  May I ask what your color palette is for this painting?  Also, how did you paint all the leaves?  Did you paint each one individually with a small brush or is there a way to approach that more en masse?  I'm always astounded by your art.  How long have you been painting?  You look to be a very seasoned and talented artist.
  • Thanks very much, @A_Time_To_Paint.

    Yes, Tasmania is a beautiful island - there's lots of subject matter to choose from. 

    For this painting I used Titanium white, Dioxazine violet, Ultramarine and Prussian blue, Cobalt teal, Arylide yellow, Yellow oxide,  Red oxide, Quinacridone crimson, Cadmium orange, Chromium green, Phthalo green.

    I neutralized the Dioxazine violet with yellow to make the darks underlying all the bushes. On top of this I painted all the branches and foliage. I used sable brushes and resorted to abstraction to paint the leaves - they're mainly just little dots of green, yellow, orange, red and white that look like foliage with a bit of distance.  I couldn't paint each actual leaf on all those bushes. I'd go insane. Or get more insane, lol. The sky was done quickly with big (No. 12) flat hog bristle brushes and the distant land and sea with smaller flats.

    I've been painting for about 7 years. I needed something to keep me grounded in retirement.  I'm happy that you like the painting. :)
  • I visit this section often. Many paintings I don't comment on since they don't follow Marks method. Others like @tassieguy's painting I can't comment on either since they are just too good. 
  • Thanks so much, @dewald. I'm happy that you think it works.  :)
  • tassieguy said:
    I've been painting for about 7 years. I needed something to keep me grounded in retirement.  I'm happy that you like the painting. :)
    Are you quite certain you paint to keep yourself grounded in retirement, or is it perhaps you lifting yourself out of the ugly downward slope of retirement. It doesn't matter, you are doing it quite well anyway.  :)
  • Thank you @tassieguy very much for your breakdown of color palette and method.  I positively love your work. Your seven years of brush time looks more like 30-40 years of experience.  
  • Wow,excellent painting.Every time you post paintings like these,I have to open the bigger picture,to see if it's a photograph or a painting.You have so much patience to paint all those branches and the leaves.Lovely work.
Sign In or Register to comment.