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Kings River in Autumn | Ozark pigments in oil

On Tuesday this week, I kicked off the first oil painting in my Kings River Four Seasons series. Today (Thursday), I did the underpainting (or underbody?) for the second one. I’m going backwards through the seasons, so here’s the start to Kings River in Autumn:

It’s also on a 16 x 20″ birch board. But for this one, I used gesso as a primer. That worked much better than the previous one in which I used a coat of walnut oil to seal the wood. Gesso is something I can conceivably make at home, and I have made an experimental batch before with rabbit hide glue and limestone. I’ll just buy this unless I need to make my own one day. At least I know I can do it if I have to.

The pigment I used in this one came from a russet colored sandstone. It is one of my favorites! I love the sepia-toned look and even if that’s all I could use, I think I could be satisfied with monochromatic paintings made from it. However, I am going to finish it out with all of the colors at my disposal. This will be put aside now and allowed to completely dry before I start on the next phase. In a day or two, I will get the boards ready for the next seasons and get the underbodies of those painted too. By the time I’m done, the winter scene should be ready for me to start painting again on it.

I’ll cycle through them all like this, one after the other with time between each to allow the layers to dry. I’m looking forward to this grand experiment in painting Kings River in autumn, winter, spring and summer! Before I get started on adding the colors, though, I need to make some more paints. I’ll need a lot more of the white, so that one will be the first one on the mulling plate.

See all of the season’s progress pages:

(the rest of these buttons will go live as I get each progress page started)

Progress on Kings River in Autumn

I’ll add progress photos to this space as I get them done. I have no idea how long it will take to finish this series. It’s an experiment in every way.

About the Series

I made a blog post the other day to show all of the scenes that I’m intending for this series. Hopefully, I can get enough differentiation between the seasons to do all four. But if not, I’ll just call it something else than ‘Four Seasons’, haha. My plan, at this point, is to paint the underbody a different color for each season. Maybe that will help give enough variation between the seasons. I think spring will be the hardest ‘look’ to capture because I just don’t have the yellows and light greens I’d like to have. But maybe mixing the paint with limestone will help with that.

I don’t know. It’s a grand experiment and I’m having fun figuring it all out. I hope you are enjoying the journey, too!

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4 thoughts on “Kings River in Autumn | Ozark pigments in oil”

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    1. Taxes. Sigh. Ours will be some time yet as we have one K-1 that’s always pushing up against the deadline. Last year for it, though, so that will help.

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