Hi! I am artist Daniil Belov and I paint landscapes. We shot this video with my friend when he decided to paint his very first oil landscape. During the video, we talk with him and discuss a variety of themes connected with plein air painting. To find out how I paint landscapes myself you can visit my site www.daniil-belov.com. – What is important now is to draw the shape of the forest. The firs behind the house are one solid dark shape, a dark mass. The tonality of the trees around the house is practically equal. Away from the house you can separate some birches which are lighter, but close to it you should draw just a shape. – Is it because the details will be specified in the underpainting stage? – Yes, in the underpainting and afterwards when you work with color. There is a meaning in that which I would like to show you today. And I have planned today’s study to highlight this meaning. In today’s case I’ll not emphasize painting as “coloring” in silhouettes already drawn with pencil, but instead we’ll create an image using only paints. If you look at the paintings of Levitan, you won’t see any drawing there. His paintings are just a set of abstract dark and light shapes. The shapes on his paintings are painted with such form, color and composition that this is enough for these abstract shapes to become objects; they are perceived as objects. I often show Arshile Gorky’s still life (“Red and Yellow”) to my students. There is a background, just a simple background, and there is a white shape, a brown shape, a red shape, a green one and something else. There are no shadows! There are just single-colored, monotonous shapes. But when I look at this painting, I understand that this is a still life. There is just an abstract shape but it’s clear that it’s a plaster head. It’s clear that the brown shape is a palette. Because if you look at a palette, you can immediately say : “This a palette. Here is the hole and the form of a palette”. That means that if you paint this darkness which surrounds the house persuasively by the shape, color and tone, in the surrounding other shapes. Even if it’s only done with a single color, a viewer will understand that these are trees. And that’s enough. You should place the colors in a certain sequence. Here I have the “cool” colors, and here are the “warm” ones. Violet — blue — green. Red — yellow — green. In other words, in a sequence, such that it is comfortable to work with. – Is this thinner? – This is a thinned lacquer. – OK, lacquer. I need to add just a little of it to paints while creating an underpainting, right? – Yes, you don’t need a lot of it. – OK, and what should I do? – Create a composition with the thinned umber paint like with a watercolor paint. By painting the dark shape, you form the light shapes around it. This one and this one. Do you understand? – No. – Look, I’ve painted the roof of the house as a dark shape. – And why do you do that? – You need to consider not only which dark shape you are painting but also which light shapes you will paint around it. – Understood. – In our situation, when we don’t have much time, you need to draw the shapes in a “generalized” way, without going into detail. Watch from the beginning, that the fir trees should be various, by shape, height and furriness to look natural. So in the underpainting stage we work on things like that. To watch how dark shapes form light ones is necessary for moments like this. I need to draw the algae here now. I need to paint it by painting the dark areas around it. That is, by painting the dark shape of the water I paint the light shape of the algae. I’ve noticed, that when you begin to explain that one needs to compose the shapes in such a way, so it will make a feeling, that they become prolonged to a distant spot to create a feeling of depth, everybody starts to paint the shapes diagonally by their form. Like this. Like this. Actually it’s not completely right. Now I paint the shapes horizontally. It’s important to their arrangement that the sequence of shapes forms the furrows. But their form can be arbitrary. Now the task is to outline the composition with shapes and to relatively denote the tone: what is darker and what is lighter. You don’t need to paint each shadow of the tree now. We go from the general shape into the details. We need to paint the whole thing in general, and only then to go in and paint the details. – Am I right that the reflection in the water is darker than the objects? – Some places are darker, some lighter. Usually the lighter places are darker in the reflection, and the darker are lighter. – When we paint by color, is it important how dense the underpainting is or not because the darker color will cover it up? I mean, if I’ll make a mistake in underpainting, will I be able
to cover it with a color in the later stage of work? – Even a dense layer of color lets the light through. The darker the layers you paint, the darker the final image is. You need to take this into consideration. – So the underpainting affects the final result? – Yes. You need to know what you want to get in the end. I’ll cover the roof of the house with a light umber tone, but the sky and the light parts of the house I’ll cover with just a clear transparent lacquer layer to keep these places light. – Do I understand correctly that if we want to leave white tone areas in an underpainting, we should cover them with the lacquer? – Yes, it’s desirable for the bonding with the canvas. Subscribe to my channel to avoid missing new videos. On my site you’ll find more lessons and secrets of painting en plein air. If you want me to shoot more master classes – become my patron on the site patreon.com.