I’ve had the request to put in a step-by-step sequence of a painting, so here we go!    I haven’t a video camera, so no flicks of the whole process; just step-by-step stills.

I’m continuing on to my next trail painting adventure.  I wanted to try a tad bigger than my usual 8″x10″, but the only panel I had the right size and proportion was already painted black.  I don’t usually start that way, but that’s the way the cookie crumbled this time.  I’m learning to “go with the flow”.

1. Just laying in general lights.  (Sorry, photo is a little blurry.)

2. Added some faded blues for the distant hills and shadows under trees.

3. Trees are usually green, right?.

4. Adding a little richness to the earth.

5. A little more form to the trees.

6. Didn’t like the composition of the trail in front.  Made it less noticeable.

7. Added final details! (click for a closer view)

Trail Study #10
oil on panel


About Tracy Wall

I'm an artist and massage therapist living in Denver, Colorado.
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8 Responses to Step-by-step

  1. Pattie Wall says:

    It’s nice to see how you worked this one. Thanks for sharing! I like that most artists just don’t have a cookie cutter way of making their art, that’s why they call it “art”, right?

  2. Sunny says:

    Great job!! You made it look so easy . .but know that it was not. Not only the time taken to make the comments and allow people to follow your thought process, but also to take the photos and provide the comparison each step of the way. A great help to “wanna-be” artists!
    And a very thoughtful way to share your knowledge!

  3. Ben says:

    What a great idea! :) Pretty wild that you started on a black canvas. Great job! Regarding Sunny’s comment, I’m a wanna-be artist and it helped me start my own.

  4. Tracy says:

    Thanks all for the comments!

    Pattie – You’re so right. Although I may have a general sequence of what I do, specifics always vary depending on the piece. If it didn’t, I’m afraid I’d grow weary of it all. I see it as why artists’ work changes as they continue.

    Sunny – I guess I never thought about it as a teaching tool, but I know as an artist, I find it interesting to see how others tackle things; to see the “artist behind the curtain”.

    Ben — Good for you!! If I can be any type of inspiration or solution-finder for you, I’d be happy to offer what I can. If you’ve got something stewing, roll up your sleeves and give it a try!!

  5. Con says:

    An interesting post. I always like to see or read about process. Like the colors in this one, too, and , as always, your use treatment of the shadows.

    Agree with Patti’s cookie cutter comment!

  6. Tracy says:

    Thanks Con. I’m trying to learn more about my camera and lighting to get better pics, too.

  7. Faye says:

    Do you always start with a dark toned background? Do you prefer that? I haven’t tried it but it is on my list of things to do.
    Thanks for the progression photos – very informative. Love the fresh brushstrokes.

  8. Tracy says:

    Faye, no I don’t. I do usually have a toned background with orange and violet being my top choices. Do try it! I like having the color peek through.

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