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Frederic Church's Area-by-Area Process

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Frederic Church's Area-by-Area Process

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Frederic Church's Area-by-Area Process

This plein-air oil study by Frederic Church was left unfinished, which gives us a glimpse into his process.

Frederic Church's Area-by-Area Process
Bavarian Landscape; Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826–1900)
USA; brush and oil, pencil on academy board.; 27.3 x 30 cm (10 3/4 x 11 13/16 in.)

Church first outlined big areas of the scene in pencil over a sealed and toned paper surface. He then covered them in oil paint from the top to the bottom. 

This area-by-area method of painting is sometimes called "window shading" because it's like pulling down a window shade.

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3 Comments on Gurney Journey: Frederic Church's Area-by-Area Process

  • Jim Douglas
    on July 19, 2022 | 12:25 Jim Douglassaid :
    "I'm always surprised artists work in this fashion. In my opinion, leaving areas paintless, rather than working the entire image up together, makes it more difficult to judge the colors and values. Wouldn't you agree? What might the corresponding advantage be to accepting this difficulty?"
  • Mitch M.
    on July 20, 2022 | 00:00 Mitch M.said :
    "It seems that working top to bottom is similar to working back to foreground but are there differences that suggest one way is better than the other?"
  • Mitch M.
    on July 20, 2022 | 00:04 Mitch M.said :
    "This comment has been removed by the author."
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