so i began with a few thumbnails to wrap my head around the composition and value shapes.
i liked the composition on the top picture, the one on the left bottom the best so thats the value map and composition i'll go with. next comes underpainting the panel. i used some old yellow gauche i had and mixed it with some orange acrylic paint and made a wash out of it. i like the acrylic underpainting because it makes the gesso less "thirsty" and dries super fast.
then i draw the shapes on in the approximate values with alizarin crimson, magenta, and orange mixed with a big dose of Liquin fast dry medium. it soaks in the rest of the way and dries quick.
now i lay in the oil paint with my most favorite beat up 1" brush (panels 12x16) in the approximate colors. my goal on this one is to stay really loose and impressionistic. so far in the block-in, i already like the expansiveness of the piece. the land mass is just the right blue and value and really makes it seem miles away. i'll do some stuff on the grass as it goes back to enhance the effect even more. but that comes at the end. trying to think big picture longer. if you squint, its amazing that a half hour block in can almost look finished. i call that the hard part. now tweaking each shape, giving it atmospheric perspective, subtle temperature changes in the big shapes, having fun on the clouds (a large part of the composition) and punching up the focal point even more. thought this one thru and put the really white boat against a really dark piece of the marsh. all the hard edges will be there, and the biggest changes in values, so there's no question about where i want you to look first .
i'll post the finish when i'm done. hope you enjoy this step-by-step post. let me know in the comments if you find it helpful.