September 21, 2023


How Art Works

How I Painted Chontele and Elora within the Backyard, 2022

3 min read

(My “On the Easel” posts offer you a behind-the-scenes have a look at what I’m engaged on, what went nicely, what went fallacious, and classes realized.)

Let’s check out how I painted Chontele and Elora within the Backyard. This was solely meant to be a research executed in preparation for a bigger work, nevertheless it turned out to be fairly charming in its personal proper.

Dan Scott, Chontele and Elora in the Garden, 2022
Dan Scott, Chontele and Elora within the Backyard, 2022

(You may obtain a higher-resolution photograph of the portray right here.)

Reference Picture

Under is the reference photograph I painted from. Be happy to color it for your self. Here’s a hyperlink to the full-size picture.

Chontele and Elora in the Garden, Reference Photo
Chontele and Elora within the Backyard, Reference Picture


  • Oil on Ampersand gessoboard, 8 by 12 inches.
  • Essential colours: Ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, cadmium purple, alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow, cadmium yellow mild, viridian inexperienced, and titanium white.

Check with my provides listing for extra particulars on what I take advantage of.

Notes and Classes Discovered

  • This topic is especially significant to me. It options my companion, my daughter, and the yard of my dad and mom’ house (and my childhood house). I leaned into this bias as I painted; that’s what makes a portray distinctive and private.
  • Essentially the most tough facet was portray the mirrored mild within the shadows, which I wrote about in a earlier publication.
  • I additionally discovered it tough to seize the essence of the scene while retaining a constant and painterly fashion. If I did an excessive amount of, the research seemed overworked and awkward. If I didn’t do sufficient, it seemed unfinished and unrealistic. I wanted to seize the look, really feel, expression, and essence of Elora and Chontele with out rendering each little element. Not simple to do.
  • I painted the background first after which labored on Chontele and Elora. I’m extra comfy portray nature than I’m portray individuals. Portray the background first allowed me to construct up some confidence and momentum earlier than stepping outdoors of my consolation zone. 
  • The background gives context and acts as some extent of distinction for Chontele and Elora. It’s stuffed with wealthy colour, sharp distinction, and painterly brushwork, whereas Chontele and Elora are conveyed with delicate colours and cautious brushwork. 
  • You may see Elora with a dummy in her mouth and a bunny in her hand. That is her traditional “I’m prepared for a nap” look. Her bunny specifically has been her favourite toy since start.
  • I’ll be having this portray framed and can reward it to Chontele (who will in all probability find yourself passing it right down to Elora).

Progress Pictures

Step 1: Tough sketch, then rapidly paint within the background.

Dan Scott, Chontele and Elora in the Garden, 2022 WIP 1

Step 2: Roughly block within the colours of Chontele and Elora. Discover how timid my strokes are. I wish to make sure of the route and colours earlier than I actually decide to my strokes.

Dan Scott, Chontele and Elora in the Garden, 2022 WIP 3

Step 3: Refine the sunshine and darkish shapes and add nuances. I pay specific consideration to mirrored mild and worth distinction.

Dan Scott, Chontele and Elora in the Garden, 2022 WIP 4

Step 4: Ending touches, signal, and {photograph}.

Dan Scott, Chontele and Elora in the Garden, 2022
Dan Scott, Chontele and Elora within the Backyard, 2022

I plan on doing a large-scale model of this research after I get an opportunity. I’ll let you understand how it seems.

Wish to Be taught Extra?

You may be fascinated about my Portray Academy course. I’ll stroll you thru the time-tested fundamentals of portray. It’s good for absolute newbie to intermediate painters.

Thanks for Studying!

I respect you taking the time to learn this publish and I hope you discovered it useful. Be happy to share it with pals.

Completely happy portray!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

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