Homecoming – In all its Colorful Glory!


Yesterday I completed the oil color version of my sketch Homecoming.

When I completed the Homecoming in digital format as a rough concept sketch, I could see the potential of something much better in it. So I decided to build upon this rough concept and develop it into something much more appealing and colorful.

As part of planning and preparation (yes, art needs this too!), I took some print outs of the original sketch. The next step was to scale the picture, so that it’s easier to keep the relative distances between objects manageable in the final picture.

Now, even though the picture is scaled properly, I still needed to figure out which elements are central to the theme of the picture. Perspective lines are very useful for this purpose.

Now it’s time to decide the rough color scheme of the picture. Even though the final colors may be far bright / saturated than the original color as applied here, this rough coloring gives a fair bit of idea about which color will go where. This is especially important as an oil painting can go on for months, and I may completely forget what color scheme I had in my mind when I started.

Here’s a rough color scheme.

Now it was time to transfer this concept onto the canvas.

First I primed the canvas using white gesso material. I used a big brush to appy gesso evenly over the canvas. This gave it a nice white color and a solid texture on which to paint.

Then I drew the pencil sketch on the canvas. This took me hardly 0.5 hour, as the original sketch was ready and scaled. I used 0.5 pencil to draw this, and used dark stokes to make sure they whould be visible through the oil paint till I needed them.

After multiple long hour sessions of painting, the final result was this.

The final painting changed a lot since I had started.

The barren mountainscape got some foliage of its own.

The clouds got bigger and attained more significance in the painting.

The sun appeared out of nowhere and defined the light in the entire scene.

Some people were added to the craft to give the whole picture a sense of scale.

The foliage appearing on the slope at the lower right corner was an ad hoc addition. On the final day of the painting, I found that strong wind had knocked down the painting on one side of easel, scraping the painting in the process. So I decided to cover up the scraping mark with the foliage. A good example of how an adversity can be used to improve a picture!

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