Process Painting: Fire & Life

Now that things are finally settling down after our big move I am please to show the process of the painting I’ve titled, “Fire and Life”

The Sketch

Many months ago I posted this image showing the beginning sketch of this painting. Here it is again. Very basic, very simple, pretty rough. You’ll notice that even at the beginning it is darkest at the bottom, lightest at the top. This general principle helps create depth in the image and is also a common diffence between landscape paintings and photography.

The Colors

This was a unique painting because it was inspired by colors first. I knew a collection of colors I wanted to work into a painting and the subject matter came after. Here I’ve started to bring those colors into the painting. The sketch is basically done away with already and the bridge element is gone at this point. A little more detail is beginning to emerge in some places.

Adding Elements

At this point I knew much of the subject matter that I wanted to have in this painting. A lava field meeting a river with lush green on the opposing side. The Tiki seemed to be the obvious guardians of the bridge between the two. I also have started to bring in various hawaiian foliage into the background. The lava remains the same at this point and the bridge is still at it’s sketch phase.

All Colors In

Now things are really coming together. All of the colors are represented. A bit of mystery is already present. Highlights, mist, and basic lighting are already starting show up. A lot more detail has been painted in at this point as well. The only element at this point slated for major change is the bridge.

The Finished Painting

Here is the final product. The actual size is 24” x 36” so much of the detail can not be seen on the computer screen at this size. The bridge has been fixed and highlighted; details in the lava have been pulled out; two figures stand overlooking the scene; the lighting overall has been pumped up to 11. The human figures on the bridge and the birds off in the background give the viewer a sense of scale and add some interest to the painting.

I hope you like it. I like the sense of mystery about this painting. Where is this place? What is going on exactly?

If you would like to purchase this work it is available in the store here.

Thank you for reading and as always, please comment, like, and share with your friends.

Michael Simpson