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Artist Community
Written by Bob Rohm

Texas oil painter Bob Rohm approaches his landscapes by first visualizing the scene as six or eight simple masses composed of only four values. From these abstract shapes, he gradually refines the colors and forms until the image is complete. To illustrate Rohm's concept, we offer the demonstration below, which delineates the steps he followed to create the painting Winter Afternoon.

1. Starting with burnt sienna thinned with medium, Rohm sketched in the large shapes and angles on a white canvas. He added ultramarine blue to darken some of the drawing.

2. Using paint thinned with medium, the artist scrubbed in simple shapes of color and value, categorizing each into four value groups—dark, dark middle, light middle, and light. He chose the average color and value for each mass.

3. Next, Rohm established the darks within the painting and added light warm and cool color to the snow.

4. With the extremes of color and value established, he began working on the distant mountain peak. As the artist worked, he related each color and value used to those extremes. Using a variety of strokes, as well as colors of similar value for each mass, Rohm developed form, texture, and detail.

5. Then, he added warm light to the bushes, sky, and snow to unify the color of light and contrast the cool colors that were dominating. Before declaring the painting finished, Rohm went back and softened distracting edges, and he added accents of color to add sparkle and to move the viewer's eye around the piece.

The completed painting: Winter Afternoon, 2003, oil, 16 x 20.