As the name suggests, this oil painting has a gate as its focus. Come on into my studio and I'll show you how I painted it...
First I draw a rough sketch of the scene on the panel. There are mountains in the distance, so I paint those in first after brushing in a summer sky with a few puffy clouds.
The mountains are far away, so I use blue to paint them. Distant things appear more blue due to atmospheric effects:
After filling in the background with some shrubbery and flowers, I'm ready to begin the gate. Notice that the background flowers are not painted brightly - I mix the colors with a bit of blue since they are farther away. I'll reserve the bright colors for the foreground. This will give the scene depth.
I add a little goldfinch sitting on one of the gate posts and then start painting Cone Flowers, Black-eyes Susans and Stargazer Lilies in the foreground using brighter colors.
This garden has a lot of flowers! It takes some time to get them all painted in.
I add the tops of two stone retaining walls on either side of the flower bed. Do you see them? The perspective of the walls going back towards the gate helps draw the eye to the gate and gives the painting depth. It's good to have a direction of flow in a composition giving the eyes a reason to move from one part to another.
Now for the empty area on the left - what to put there? I look out my studio window and see the Buddleia or Butterfly Bushes in my garden and decide they will be just right:
After working with details and filling in all the spaces, I check the gate to make sure it is straight - no leaning gates in this piece - and make adjustments as needed. Then the painting is finished!
Garden Gate is available for sale in my Original Art Shop.