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Under the Bridge

A new oil painting by Orion Wertz titled "Under the Bridge"

I completed this painting during my "year in absentia." It actually started off as something I worked on in my Painting 1 class while my students were working on their own paintings. Initially I thought of it as something to play around with, a way to keep busy when they didn't need me. However, as it developed I started to think it might turn into something more substantial.

First layers of oil painting involving color and monochromatic layers

As it happens I actually have photos (though not the greatest ones) of some stages of development. At this point the sky is more or less done- a basic color gradient. The bridge and landscape are developed as two complimentary layers of color (buildings, bridge, and trees) and the foreground is still just the single yellow and orange underlayer. Figures have popped in as brown and white monochrome and the plants breaking the lower edge are just a drawing in burnt umber. As usual, I formulate my paint so that it dries completely between layers.

Close up of painted figure with color added

At this point the figures have received translucent color. The plants have been developed more dimensionally with white and burnt umber.

The figures and plants are finished and the masking process is beginning

Here a rendering layer of mixed black has been applied on the figures. The plants up front have received color and a supplemental shadow layer. The pylon and children were masked off so that I could apply an opaque tan and blue paint swipe. Removing the mask "cut" the pictorial elements out of the swipe.

The completed painting hangs on a studio wall with other paintings

The last application of paint is the heavy, predominantly green mass of brushstrokes surging across the lower portion. The figures and plants were masked prior to application, and removing the mask reveals them as floating images within a flotsam of color.

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3 hours ago
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

This painting is really really neat. Love seeing your process. Epic.

-former super cool student Eli Schmidt 😎


3 hours ago
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great Blog Post!

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