Landscape in the Studio

Chalet aux Cornettes de Bise, 2018, huile sur toile, 60 x 50cm

This landscape I started during the summer in the French alps. There was not time to finish it on site so I took it back to the studio to complete it. I have spent a lot of time in the alps over the years and remembering the actual colours of the rocks, trees and grass was not too difficult.

The great trick I feel with a landscape is composing the picture correctly in the first place. I wanted a touch of sky in the painting and finding just the right spot in front of the chalet took a good bit of time of shifting about. Most landscape photographers know composition is very important but are comfortably able, these days, of taking more than enough snap shots and cropping their images on a computer. When painting landscapes outdoors, I do not have these option much.

To add interest to the picture I added an extra glaze of red to the hut (much of it was red with the rust on the corrugated iron roof anyway). This gave the central object some colour contrast as well as tonal contrast (red against green of the trees and light against dark of the branches). Some purists prefer their landscapes paintings to be broader than they are taller but I feel this "portrait" shape lends height to this mountain landscape - a type of view where height is very much of the essence.