New Painting of Golden Eagle Kodar Mountains Siberia – I’m beginning a new painting that celebrates the beauty of Siberia, it’s rivers, mountains and the Golden Eagle. Siberia contains many big rivers, scenic mountain ranges and fiery volcanoes. Despite it’s large size Siberia has very few people living there compared to North America or Europe. I’ve only seen Siberia from website photos and youtube but it has fascinated me that a place so beautiful would have such a small human population. I remember America 40 years ago and the beauty of the woods and forests of southern New Jersey. Now it seems that nearly all the forests are gone in New Jersey. Also, there is a reluctance to embrace any forest in the United States for fear of the bulldozers which will inevitably come and destroy them. For me it is recurring cycle that I have witnessed in America over and over. You fall in love with a forest and then, one day bulldozers tear it down.
Regions in Siberia, Irkutsk, Zabaykalsky Krai and Yakutia
I like Siberia, Irkutsk and Yakutia in specific, because of their extreme cold temperatures. Such harsh cold will keep outsiders away and that will help to preserve the taiga, local villages and all of wildlife that live there. The Kodar Mountains spans across both Irkutsk Oblast and Zabaykalsky Krai. This area is close to Lake Baikal and Oron Lake. Like my last painting (Wood Stork), this painting will try to show everything during the early morning sunrise, when the colors are the most colorful and there is a strong warm/cool bias.
Beginning Thumbnail Sketch
Every painting begins life as a thumbnail sketch. I make several thumbnail sketches to find the best composition. Once I am satisfied, I make a 3/4 drawing to make sure the composition still looks good when it is big. If it passed that test, I re-draw the composition onto the cold press illustration board. If it did not pass the test, I would make minor adjustments in 3/4 size or reject the composition and go back to the thumbnails.
After I have redrawn the drawing onto the illustration board (carefully using the grid), it’s time to start painting the background and gradually work my way forwards.
Painting the sky
Because there’s really nothing in back of a sky, the sky is where I usually begin my painting. First, I mix all of the colors that I think I’ll be using. In the case of painting a sky, the colors have to merge together like one big gradient. That plus I’m painting on bare board so I’ll take my biggest brush and wet the board where I’ll be painting the colors. This helps the colors to merge without seeing as many brush strokes. After the paint is dry, I take my home made carbon paper that we made and used to trace the drawing and lay it over the dry paint and begin the to draw over the lines to replace the lines of the drawing that were covered when we painted the sky. In the next post, we’ll create a distant tree line.