Step 1 This is a lovely warm sunlit painting in acrylic. In the first image, I put the sky wash on using my 1 ½ in Aquafine brush, using a mixture of Cobalt Blue and Titanium White, progressively adding more white as I came downwards. Then I washed the brush out thoroughly before putting some thick bits of Titanium White on to start the clouds. Then I added a tiny bit of Paynes Grey to the blue and white mix and popped some of this below the white clouds. Now with my figure, I rolled the tops of the white areas and then the dark into the white to form the clouds. Once this was totally dry, I then did the outline drawing.
Using my ¾ in flat brush (Aquafine), I put some Raw Sienna into the distant hills, followed by a little Burnt Sienna and then a very few strokes of Hookers Green mixed with Raw Sienna. This was followed by a little bit of Cobalt Blue mainly in between the hills and a few touches here and there in the rest of the hills. I then gently stroked through with a clean damp brush to generally smooth these colours together.
In this bit, I have done the distant flat land at the base of the hills. This was again done with my ¾ in flat brush and with straight horizontal strokes. Firstly a little Naples Yellow along the top section, followed by a little Raw Sienna below this and then a touch of Burnt Sienna below that. Then, again, I washed out the brush and merged the colours with a gentle stroke. For those few distant trees, I changed to my no 8 Aquafine round brush and with a mix of Hookers Green and Burnt Sienna, I just put a few blobs on. Remember you are not painting leaves, you are intimating trees.
For the bigger hill to the right, it’s again done with the ¾ in flat brush. And I started this off with Raw Sienna, filling in the whole hill, followed by a little Raw Umber merged into the Raw Sienna. For the shadowy areas and to give depth and strength I used a mixture of Paynes Grey and Alizarin Crimson. Remember at this point, as all of the hills get stronger and closer, to make your brush strokes count and show the direction the hill is coming down. Finally on this big one, a little bit of Naples Yellow to the outer edge (left hand side) just to capture the light on the hill. Now for the slightly lower hill in front of this one. Still sticking with the same brush. I used a mixture of Raw Sienna and Naples Yellow and filled the whole hill in with this. I followed with just a couple of strokes of Burnt Sienna, nice and weak. The next stage of this one needs a change to the no 8 round brush and with a mix of Hookers Green and Burnt Sienna and using the tip of my brush, I put in a few blobs for trees. But this time paint a few lines in between those blobs to represent field lines.
Again back to a bit of flat land with my ¾ in flat brush. And in the bottom part of this section I stroked across with a mixture of Hookers Green and Raw Sienna followed by a little bit of Naples Yellow to the top part of this section. As I stroked across, I merged the Naples Yellow into the green mix (so no hard edges).
A big dark hill next, again with ¾ in flat brush. Firstly Raw Sienna to the top and, from the very beginning of this hill, start and make your brush strokes count with the direction of flow. After the Raw Sienna, I went in with Raw Umber and this was followed by a mix of Hookers Green and Burnt Sienna, nice and dark. Remember to paint around the path that is going across the hill. Then again a few strokes of Paynes Grey and Alizarin for the darker richer areas. And couple of strokes of Naples Yellow just on the very top part of this hill and merged in will give just enough light.
The hill in front of this big one is even easier. Again painting in the shape that you want in the hill, firstly a little bit of Raw Sienna on the top section and then a little bit of Raw Umber and Burnt Sienna mixed into the rest of it. Merge these colours into the Raw Sienna at the top so again there are no hard edges.
A very crucial part of this landscape is the shadows. And you can see here that the large hill on the left now casts a shadow on the flat land’s middle distance. Again use a mixture of Paynes Grey and Alizarin Crimson but with a little more water in to keep it weaker.
Now for start of the foreground and yet again this was all done with my ¾ in flat brush. Firstly big horizontal strokes of Hookers Green mixed with raw Sienna and then just a little hint of Burnt Sienna (you can see it slightly warm in the centre). And for the start of the river, I went in with a mix of Cobalt Blue and Titanium White and then just a few strokes of Titanium White by itself, here and there. You will see I’ve done quite a big clump of woodland in the middle distance on the right hand side. I used my no 8 round brush for this and a mixture of Hookers Green and Raw Sienna but good and strong. And I just stippled on with the tip of the brush (don’t immediately think about individual trees, this is just a clump). What starts to make them look like individual trees is some Paynes Grey in the darker areas followed by a few touches of Naples Yellow in the lighter areas.
Now for some big trees. These are all done with no 8 round brush. To start with, a mix of Hookers Green and Burnt Sienna, good and strong. These trees are starting to cut into the river a little bit which really starts to make sense of the river. Notice the undulations of the tops of the trees, don’t do them all in a straight line. Now some Paynes Grey to the right hand side of these trees and at the base, followed by some Naples Yellow in the tops and coming down the left hand side .Once I’d put all the colours on, I then just dabbed on with my finger slightly, here and there, to merge the colours.
Here with my ¾ in flat brush, I filled in the little hill to the left behind the trees. For this I used a fairly watery mix of Burnt Sienna and Raw Sienna. Again, you will notice that I have added some shadow on to the flat land using the same mix and in the same way as I cast a shadow from the big hill.
For the big clump of woodland to the right, I used my ¾ in flat brush and started off with a mix of Hookers Green and Burnt Sienna but this time I split the brush and stippled on. Then again with the addition of Paynes Grey, I stippled on in the same way followed by Naples Yellow. Once more we have depth and light.
Finally all these big trees in the foreground. These were done in exactly the same way as I did the big clump of woodland to the right hand side but all of the colours are stronger and darker, especially the Paynes Grey and Naples Yellow. If you look carefully, you will also see intimated some boughs and trunks in these trees. These were done with Paynes Grey and my Aquafine rigger brush.