Bill Alexander Painting Tips: To The Summit pt 3

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

Today’s video is just a little bit longer. Watch as Bill adds highlights to the mountains and reflections. He also adds the dark, dramatic trees that set this painting off so well.

Points To Consider:

  • Yellow White and a touch of Alizarin Crimson creates a beautiful highlight color.

  • He Adds highlight reflections I the water.Notice the reflection goes the opposite direction.

  • Painting is great therapy. It is such a peaceful, relaxing hobby to have. Like anything, there is a learning curve but once you understand the principles of art, it is just a joy!

  • He keeps paper towels close by so he can clean his palette knife between strokes. When he adds paint to the canvas, he picks up the color that is there. If he went directly back into the highlight color, he would contaminate the color and would not get the brightness he is seeking.

  • The dark trees cast a striking contrast against the mountains and sky. Though his strokes are abstract and random, they still have order and represent a stand of fir trees.

  • He puts the tree reflections into the water, keeping in mind proper placement.

  • Bill tells us it is a joy to be alive and at the easel. We agree!

  • The base of the tree is always filled in. It is where the branches are the heaviest and where the tree is most dense. He leaves space for the light to show through to separate the branches up above

  • He is still using very thick paint.

  • Bill mixes light blue to create waterlines against the shoreline. This separates the land and the water.

  • He can add tree trunks by adding the light blue to the tree or he can use his knife as a “plow” and remove the paint so the canvas shows through. Both ways work.

  • Bill is careful to let some of the sky show on both sides of the trees. So it doesn’t look like the tree is leaving the canvas.

  • He isn’t afraid to tell us when he makes a mistake. He always knows he can fix things. That is an important thing to learn. Paintings can always be changed. Bill put the tree reflection in the wrong place. Instead of worrying about it, he just added another tree!

  • Bill is strategic when he places the trees in front of the mountains. He makes sure he doesn’t cover up what he likes.

  • Bill plows through the paint he applied to create the trees and drags his knife out the top to create the top of the tree.

Almost always Bill paints from his mind. This project he is looking at a calendar or a reference photo. He glances to the right to see the reference photo today but also, someone is sitting right to the right of him to give him time cues. He was brilliant at finishing his painting right on time.