“Furrow-lined hills undulate colorfully across the canvas. Swaying cypresses and warped fences line patchwork fields. Birds soar through a perfect-day sky, while a lone car follows a curved road toward a Monopoly-style house. Entering one of Don Tiller’s paintings always evokes a smile.” -Deborah Secor
The following is a free excerpt from the July/August 2008 issue of The Artist’s Magazine, which features Don Tiller’s acrylic landscape paintings.
My paintings look simple. That’s the goal, but I spend a lot of time getting the balance I want. One painting may have as many as 20 or 30 layers. Rollicking lines unite the elements. The unifying secret is my underpainting, composed of three layers of black gesso.
I start with a pastel line drawing on a canvas covered with black gesso. My compositions come either directly from my memory or from my sketchbook.
Next I block in the shapes with bold colors. Getting this initial color selection right is important because it will later allow me to achieve my desired final glazing and layering results.
I begin the layering and glazing process using transparent yellow iron oxide for the warm areas and cobalt blue—thinned with a glazing medium—for the shadows and cooler areas.
Using opaque colors, I continue layering and scumbling. Then I glaze with mixes of transparent colors to unify the hues.
I finish this demonstration by adding details and refining highlights and shadows. A top coat of clear semigloss medium protects the painting and unifies the sheen.
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