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The Art of Derek Dohren

painting, writing, photography

as it happened - 2

as it happened - 2


Lake Bled - painted December 2008, acrylics on boxed canvas

stage 1

I blocked in colours to form an underpainting not worrying at all about any fine details. It is enough at this stage to simply define the broad areas of the painting - the sky, the mountains, the water, the island and the church tower.


I used complimentary colours for the underpainting of the sky and the island - red to aid the green, and orange to enhance the blue.

stage 2

Ok, more realistic colours to sit on top of the underpainting. I have left the sky colouring irregular to begin the indication of clouds. Some of the red underpainting shows through on the greened up island.


I have begun to lighten the water surface, preserving the reflection of the church tower in front of the island.


The outline of a wood is indicated at the foot of the mountain range to the right of the painting, about half way up.

stage 3

The look of the painting is transformed with the use of a palette knife. The dragging action of the knife has created the desired effect on the water surface. I used wet on wet technique here to merge the blues and violets and indigoes together.


I have developed the clouds here too but have also dragged some of the purples from the water into the sky to link them together.


The application of titanium white in the water reflects the clouds. I have added flecks of red to indicate roof tops on the island.

stage 4

I decided the church tower was too large so I reduced it. I also began to indicate the various windows and shadows on the tower.


The treeline at the foot of the mountain range has some tone added to create some perspective.


The mountain range has been given some highlighting to try and convey shape and form.


I am back to using a brush again at this stage.

stage 5

I have darkened the waters and paid more attention to the reflections of the island on the water surface now that I have also applied a lighter tone of green to the foliage.


There are yellows and browns in the island wood too.


I decided the main mountain behind the island was too green and have applied a series of blue based glazes and tried hard to build in shadows and highlights to indicate some structure.

stage 6

The reflection of the mountains in the lake was not accurate enough - not being a mirror image in terms of its shape.


Additionally the colours of the lake did not match closely enough the colours being reflected.


The line of the wood on the island at its right hand point was too square so I softened it. I also dampened down the greens on the island.

stage 7

The final version. The painting is better resolved now with the colours and tones looking more natural.


The bottom foreground area of water has a more realistic look and the shape of the reflected mountain range is satisfyingly accurate.


The background mountain range has a lighter tone - essential for giving it a sense of distance.

You can see a larger version of the finished painting in the gallery.


Just click on the 'landscape' button.

Paint some memories of your stay here in Granada. Contact me for details.

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