Monday, February 22, 2016

Cornish Hills

Cornish Hills
[after Metcalf]

18" x 24"
Oil on hardwood Panel

Willard Metcalf painted this more than a century ago. It is one of my favorite landscape paintings.

In an effort to understand it's structure and unity, I decided to try to paint it myself. However Metcalf painted his nearly square and I'm not a great fan of square landscape, so I modified the design into a rectangle.

I wish I had the original to compare the surface control and brushwork.

It was a great exercise for me, as I discovered things about it in trying to create it that were not obvious to me just by studying it. Lots of great stuff involved in his creation of this masterpiece.

A photograph of Metcalf's original painting is below. And, sad to admit, better than mine


  1. It's beautiful! Really love the colors and detail. I think you're being hard on yourself and that they're impressively similar.

  2. Oh, I'm pleased with my painting, it is beautiful and peaceful, however it is not the equal of his. The master wins this round.
    Metcalf's great quality is the design and unity or balance of the painting.
    I have little idea what the scene actually looked like, however Metcalf has chosen what to put in and where to place it to make a painting rather than a photograph.
    The good stuff got there by careful plan
    The colors are heathers and russets and variations of grey.
    The foreground small tree/shrub has a few leaves which he placed as accents. It was probably somewhere else and he placed it where it makes a connection with the foreground and the middle elements.
    The birch or alder trees on the right side have light or dark value trunks depending upon how he wanted to accent them.
    And look at the way he created perspective with them. The tops are almost all level, it's the bases that move upward to make them shorter and receding.
    It's not a painting of clouds yet he put in a light group, which he certainly designed. They gently mirror the snowfield beneath them
    The painting has such a great balance between warm and cool values
    Love it

  3. These paintings are both seriously beautiful- I had to enlarge them both to even believe you that they were different artists- Haha. I love it! A lot.