I’ve been experimenting with atmospheric backgrounds lately, thought I’d share how I’m going about it.

Here in this first photo are my materials, standard stuff. I’m thinning my colors with Gamblin’s Galkyd Lite.

Panel with palette and brushes.









In the next step I start scrubbing the colors in according to a loose idea in my head. In this case I wanted the colors to transition from dark in the lower left corner to light in the upper right.

Starting to paint.









I’m not trying to blend at this point, just laying my colors in until I end up with ¬†something like this, at which point I’ll use the big brush on the left to blend it together. The big brush is actually a brush for faux finishing that I picked up at Lowe’s.

Ready to blend the colors.









I work the surface in all directions with the blender. I blended these colors for about five minutes, working in every direction and cleaning the brush with a cloth every once in a while. Here’s how it ended up:

The end result.









Now I’ll let it dry and figure out what to paint on it.




  • Original Balinese Hand-Painted Oil Painting on Jun 12, 2012

    some truly interesting details you have written.

  • Brandon Bouldin on May 14, 2012

    Thanks for colors. Ill have to try that technique out, and the arylic gesso. Thats one thing im bad at with my paintings is taking the time to prep the canvas.

  • Brandon Bouldin on May 14, 2012

    Thanks for the insight on the process. I hope you do more of these in the future. I think it really helps for people who may love to paint but cant really afford to take any art classes. You atmospheric background came out awesome. Cant wait to see what you paint on it. What colors did you use? Keep it up

    Brandon B

    • ehjstudio on May 14, 2012

      Glad you found this helpful. I’ve learned so much from other artist’s blogs it’s my hope that I can contribute back to the pool. I intend to continue posts that deal with process and technique. Thanks for the encouragement. The colors in this particular painting are, from dark to light, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Winsor Red (I think this color is exclusive to Winsor & Newton. I like it because its not as orange as cadmium red and doesn’t lean toward the purple/blue as much as alizarin crimson) and Yellow Ochre.And Galkyd Lite dries fairly quickly… You could extend your drying time by using Galkyd or Galkyd SD.