PAINTING FOG AND ATMOSPHERE
I want to show you how to paint fog and rain. It is something that many have wanted to do, but unsure how. For the lesson I am using a photo of a foggy cabin that I took when my husband and I traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is in Virginia and known as the homestead of the Martin Brinegar family. They lived there from the late 1800's until the 1940's. The day we showed up, there was fog hanging around the cabin. It sits on a downward slope so that the rain and fog hadn't quite reached it. The photo was stunning and I wanted to paint this scene.
Fast forward to today.. I finally got around to painting this cabin and the atmosphere. I have taken photos as I go along to show you that it's not hard to do. It does take a little practice, but we all need that, right? To get fog, you mix white with a very small amount of burnt umber and blue to make light grey. Get it nice and watery using a #6 or larger bristle brush, (they can take the necessary scrubbing) wipe the brush with a paper towel to take most of the paint out of the brush and test on a scratch board, etc to make sure most of the paint is out. Then start scrubbing in circles moving outward as you go to leave a foggy look over your background. I would suggest you practice this technique on an old painting or a practice canvas before you start on your painting. You can do as many coats as you choose, letting dry between each coat. (It will show up less as it dries) You can also add more trees between coats for more depth if you choose. I painted the background and fog before I started the cabin.
I am finally happy! I glazed the canvas with gloss varnish. Then I added tree leaves in the top left and a shrub on the bottom left. I toned down the yellow in the grass and darkened the chimneys. I added a bushes behind and beside the cabin and some flowers to bring the complimentary color of red. I also realized that I hadn't added the shadow of the porch. Can you see the difference all this made? Now your eye moves around the painting and the tree and bushes all point toward the cabin as the focal point. It feels complete. I use Liquitex Gloss Varnish in case you want to know. It is for acrylics only, but it gives a wonderful glossy shine to your paintings! I apply it with a sponge brush or a small silicone makeup pad.
I have started my next nostalgic painting, this time it is a little boy and his dog. I have several photos to show the progress here as well. I think you will enjoy it!