Thursday, April 23: Justin Frey

Justin’s process in creating his painting today seemed quite straightforward and traditional — but perhaps not, since his approach was unique among our 23 artists so far.  Justin started by taking some time to think about his subject and composition.  Then he drew his subject (a crow in flight carrying a branch) on the canvas with a pencil.  His next step was to paint the shape of the crow using dark colors, including some green in the mix, which kept his dark subject from turning into a flat silhouette against his lighter sky.
Next, Justin mixed a light blue for the sky and painted it around the shape of the crow.  He filled in the shape of the branch with a brown color, then retraced the line of the branch with a pencil to keep the definition of the shape.
The final part of Justin’s process was to add color variation and shading throughout his painting.  He added light and dark to the branch, giving it a textured look.  He used a painting knife to create wispy clouds in the sky.  He also put highlights, accents, and details into the feathers and form of the crow.  These variations and accents throughout his painting provide a visual interest and a softness of brush stroke that balance nicely with the stark form of his composition and the high contrast in his palette.

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