Caesar's Head State Park landmark oil painting.

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January 6, 2018

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My Oil Paintings on
Fine Art America

Oil Painting of Caesar's Head

Located in Cleveland South Carolina is one of many State Parks covered in a dense forest, waterfalls and bountiful wildlife. Caesars Head State Park is an artist inspiration treasure chest for creating art works in any art media. There are billions of artist depictions undiscovered and each one is just waiting for an artist to take a brush and paint them.

There's path in the park leading to vantage point where you can view the profile of Caesars Head. Views from this area over the valley are incredible. I wanted to capture this view in a painting and have viewers feel the spectacular thought of being there.

Viewing the oil painting at this point in time makes you want to fly into the painting. Just like a broad-wing hawk can effortlessly fly and then into the horizon.

A grid pattern works well in the transferring of images of this type to a canvas. Grids help by getting the elements of the image as close to proportion so that the finished art work will have a sense of realism to the reference material. Without a grid this can sometimes be challenging unless your art skills have progressed to a higher degree.

Now I didn't want to be a cartographer and create an exact copy. You can do that if you want to but not me. A resemblance is all that is needed for this oil painting which is as far as I want to take this painting. Anything more would be a photograph and as an artist I what to paint what I feel about the subject to convey that feeling for the art viewer.

Setting in the color values in the early portion helps me in placement of key features. Colors values of the painting give a road map as to where the painting is headed. Your able to begin making decisions as to where the lightest lights and darkest darks will be. Adjustments in hues can be reviewed.

Painting in the rock formations really gives the art composition a truly impressive feeling. Seeing this in the start of the base of the oil painting assures a strong work of art to come.

At this stage of the painting it's the rock formation areas getting the attention with focus on the color values. I'm not so much concerned with the details at this point but just looking at the structure and how light from the sky is effecting it. Some things to get thought to are questioning where the highlighted areas should be? Where are the shadows? Is the light dominating more or less in key areas? Where is the sight of the art collectors focusing in on in the composition?

It is amazing when painting in the upper trees how the contrast created in the sky area pulls the view from the lower section up to this area. This happens because this area is now where the darkest dark is and the lightest light is. This is one of the aspects of painting which makes it a marvel and so enjoyable. An artist can control the visual attention of other individuals sight with the stroke of a brush.

Contrast needs to be considered when painting the rock formation. How much contrast we create can pull the sight of the art collector into a new area or further away. We need to consider if we what to paint the rock formation lighter or darker as we paint. Fore thought and constant attention is demanded on this technique as you work in completing your painting.

Painting in shadows as more of the massive rock structure is painted is becoming a challenge. The sunlight was not in the same position in the reference photographs as is depicted in the painting. This makes constant reviews of the shadows and shades a necessity while the painting progresses.

A little bit of interest was added by painting in a Red Tailed Hawk. Painting in the hawk helps to push the horizon back and enhances the feeling of how large the surrounding air space really is.


Shadows and light areas are playing an important part at this point of the painting. By brushing in a lighter or darker color anywhere in the rock formation you can change the focal point quiet easily. Every so often one needs to step back for a few moments and evaluate how the colors are effecting the over all composition.

Think about where the source of light is coming from and what direction is it heading. Then on every object being painted consider how the light is going to cast it's shadow. It gets really interesting because the artist needs to give fore thought on how intense is that shadow and how bright are those light areas are going to be.

Sharp edges or fuzzy edges on painted objects will effect the focal point also. It's like when you look at something straight on the object being looked upon is focused and sharp. But the objects in your peripheral vision are more toward the blurry side of things. This principle also needs to be included as you paint.


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