"Mossy Marsh Oak" A Plein Air Painting Using a Toned Surface

In my plein air painting "Mossy Marsh Oak", I used a warm color on the painting surface to enrich my oil paint. The warm tone of the canvas adds contrast to the cool blues and greens in the landscape. It also gives impact to the highlights in the Live Oak, Spanish moss, and marsh.

The painting panel was prepared several days earlier and allowed to dry.
Once on location, I lightly sketched the scene in charcoal on my painting surface.
Next, I worked over the sketch with thinned oil paint to establish the composition.

I then painted the horizon line, marsh and sky. The form of oak tree in the foreground was painted last, to build on the values of the sky and middle ground marsh.

As the afternoon sun began to set, I was able to see the last rays of the sun highlighting the marsh, creek and live oak. These highlights were added quickly by "etching" into the layer of oil paint revealing the warm tone of the panel.

I hope you like the result of "planned spontaneity" by using a pretoned canvas in this plein air painting of sunlight on a Mossy Marsh Oak.

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