Bill Alexander Painting Tips: To The Summit pt 2

Each Saturday we will have tips and instructions from Bill himself as he walks you through “To The Summit.”

Bill Alexander loved to build. It was natural that structures would be fashioned in HIS style. He owned many properties throughout the years, each one different from the other, but none of them could rival Mother Nature where Bill felt most at home. (and that included a body of water on-site).

Towards the end of Bill’s life, he lived in the city. Though Bill preferred country living, he found joy by sitting at his dining room table overlooking the river where barges came and went upriver; he would dream up stories as to where they would go. Bill found joy in everything he did. It was his infectious love of life that was our greatest teacher.

Points to Consider:

  • The paint on the canvas is wet.
  • He added the middle value as the base of the mountain.
  • Today he will add highlights. He mixes Titanium White, Indian Yellow, and a touch of Alizarin Crimson. Notice he doesn’t over mix the paint. He calls this “marbling”.
  • If he over mixes the color it will become all one color. He wants variety so he just “folds” the color together a few times.
  • The light is coming from the left.
  • This paint is going on the canvas because he used thin paint to create the base color.
  • He holds the knife as flat to the canvas as possible.If he doesn’t he will end up scraping color off the canvas rather than laying it down.
  • The canvas will grab the thick paint and cause it to “”Looks like Bill painted a thousand little strokes.
  • He is barely touching the canvas.
  • He adds dark in the front of the mountain to create an illusion of closer mountains. The farther away something is, the grayer it will appear. This is because our eyes can’t see rich colors in the distance.
  • Bill adds the shadowy highlights by mixing Prussian Blue and Titanium White. The shadow highlights go on the right side of the mountains.
  • Notice when he adds the darkness in the water for reflections the strokes go the opposite way. He makes sure to match up the darks in the right places for reflections.
  • Bill only had time to show us how to paint three layers. Anything after that would require drying time.
  • Thick paint DOES make a difference. If you can’t find thick paint, place your paint on a paper towel overnight and the towel will absorb the oil from the paint. It will be thicker by morning!


Bill Alexander Painting Tips: To The Summit pt 1

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