Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Making a 6 Foot Painting: Sunrise over the Hudson River

Erik Koeppel "Sunrise over the Hudson River" 44 x 72 inches, Oil on canvas
Below you'll find images and information on how this painting was made. It is inspired by a view from the Kaaterskill Clove in the Catskill Mts. out to the Hudson River, and also by Claudian ideal landscapes of figures in Arcadia.

In addition to many many drawings that aren't yet photographed, I did a few painted studies outside to learn the character of the view.

Outdoor Paintings:
Erik Koeppel "Hudson River from the Catskills" 10 x 16 inches, oil on panel

Erik Koeppel, "The Hudson Valley from the Catskills" 10 x 16 inches, Oil on panel
I also did this smaller 24x36 studio painting of the sunset from the same location (the sun coming into the picture from behind the viewer):

Erik Koeppel "Hudson River from the Catskills at Sunset" 24 x36 inches, Oil on panel

All of this extended study in the area, and many drawings led to a fairly clear vision of how I wanted to paint the view. Here are a number of in-progress shots of the painting as it developed from the big vision to a refined studio painting that more fully expresses my thoughts on the subject. I had read an account of S.R. Gifford's working process that said that he tried to get the picture to be as complete as possible at the end of the first day, and I tried to emulate that process by covering the whole canvas and doing the best I could to refine it. From there it was just months and months of refining that initial burst of inspiration and vision.

Day 1 first shot

Day 1 second shot

Day 1 final

Then layers and layers and layers of glazing and refining

Here are some images of historic American Hudson River School paintings that were an inspiration to me:

Asher B. Durand

Frederick Church

Jasper Francis Cropsey

Asher B. Durand

Sanford Robinson Gifford

George Inness

"Sunrise over the Hudson" is currently on view at the New Hampshire Antiques Co-op. To visit them, and see the painting in person please click the link for info:

To learn Hudson River School painting techniques here's info:

Upcoming Instructional DVD:

Upcoming Workshops:
July 5th to July 8th, 2012: Traditional Oil Painting at the Wentworth Hotel: elegant wine, food, and accommodations alongside a weekend of painting in the White Mts. Click here for details

July 16th to 26th, 2012: Through the Grand Central Academy of Art: Paint with us in the White Mountains alongside the Hudson River Fellowship for 10 days. Click here for details

Thank you for reading!

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