Elizabeth Tolley Demonstration Painting

| April 29, 2009
elizabeth tolley demonstration painting

Elizabeth Tolley Demonstration Painting

My Elizabeth Tolley Demonstration Painting

I love to visit Northern California. Donna and I have been to a variety of places there including Monterey, Carmel, San Simeon, San Francisco, Napa and Point Reyes among others. While visiting Hearst Castle a few years ago, we stayed in a small town called Cambria. Little did I know at the time that a gallery there represented American landscape painter, Elizabeth “Libby” Tolley. She is a fourth-generation Californian, and her focus has been painting the rural landscapes of California’s Central Coast. I wish I had stopped in the Vault Gallery to see her work first hand. Having experienced the beauty of Central Coast, I feel her paintings really capture the essence of the region’s landscapes and remind me of the awesome experiences I have had there.

After stumbling upon her work on the web and liking what I saw, I called the gallery to get more information and discovered that the had also written a book entitled “Oil Painter’s Solution Book: Landscapes.” Feeling starved for more inspiration, I bought her book and was delighted to find several demonstrations that I could follow to help improve my painting skills. The piece above is the result of following one of the book’s demonstrations on an 8″x10″ piece of linen on board. I started and washed off once and then began to make some progress. Tolley advocates washing in with transparent colors to start, which creates the basis of the composition and establishes the initial lights and darks of the painting. I like how this turned out and will use the knowledge in my future field and studio work for sure.

Thanks to Libby for granting permission to post this painting. I asked as a courtesy since the piece is based on her work.

Category: Fine Art and Painting

Comments (4)

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  1. Randy Saffle says:

    Great job Lee. I bought the same book and I’m drawn to her painting style. Using the transparent colors and building up really makes the painting glow.
    Thanks for mentioning it, I will dig it back out this weekend.

  2. Lee says:

    Thanks Randy. Glad you are back by the way. I have been waiting to see how your field trip went this week. One thing I also found helpful from the Tolley exercise was to go back after applying the transparent washes and take a lint-free cloth with water (I use Aqua Oils) and wipe back the lightest areas with my finger to really pop the highlights. This really helped me see where the highlights would have the most impact in the piece. Thanks for joining by the way!

  3. gwen says:

    Gorgeous colors and style. The predominate golds make it all the better.

  4. Lee says:

    I discovered Cadmium Yellow Deep with this painting. I love the intensity of the color and ended up putting this one up on my wall. Thanks for the kind feedback!