Friday, July 8, 2011

My Painting Process: The Old Run

This painting is named "The Old Run" as suggested by my husband. A creek is sometimes channeled into a new creek and the older creek area where trees and stumps remain is called "the old run."
The Old Run 40x30 Oil. ©Dot Courson
 I started this 40x30 oil painting on a Wednesday afternoon and the painting was done by 11 PM. I was using Liquin and Alkyd white- a fast drying white paint. All other paints were oils. The colors I used were Ultramarine blue, Cobalt blue, Cerulean blue, Cadmium red light, Cadmium yellow light and Permanent rose.

This was painted in my studio from a photo my husband made in Hickory Flat, MS near his parents home at Frank Thompson Lake. It was a beautiful evening and the leaves on the lake are actually a moss, I think it's called Watercress.
Photo Reference

Using this photo print as my guide I started massing in and designing the painting on a white canvas indicating the color. I brightened it up in some areas. I decided to omit the white distracting cattails in the foreground.
 The dark area of water in the middle will be for the shadows of the trees on the other side of the lake. I just massed in the background for the reeds and cat tails in the foreground in the left corner.
 Adding color with a large brush I continue to work...Instead of dots for the leaves I mass areas in when it's in a distance. Your eyes see this as one mass anyway, so that's how you paint it.
 Here I'm breaking up the brush strokes in the front. And finished the details of the logs and dead trees: detail work.
And here it is almost finished in my studio. You can actually see the reference photo lying on the left side of the easel.

Here is the painting framed and ready to be taken to the gallery.
The Old Run 40x30 Oil ©Dot Courson

See more of my paintings at www.dotcourson.com !


  1. I loved seeing your process... in the image below where you say you are starting to break up the brush strokes, the painting is 'singing'! :) Thanks for posting these!

  2. Thanks Teresa! This was a lot of fun. One of my favorite places that I've painted. - Dot