Even though I officially finished this painting in 2014, after sorting through photos, I enjoyed seeing the progression of my largest painting, Acony Bells, and thought I'd share.
I started painting on this particular canvas in January 2013, but it started to move in a particular direction after I spent the summer painting in Italy and did a small gouache study of an invented pseudo-Italian mountainscape. This aerial view was really interesting to me, enough that I spent the next 5 months or so trying to translate it onto a much larger scale. During the earliest stages, I was focused on finding an overall composition that I liked, changing horizons and hillsides. The majority of the time after that point was spent on establishing a sense of atmosphere and distance. Some of the biggest changes, however, happened after being framed and with a week until it needed to be hanging in a gallery. Shown in the last 3 images, I glazed over large portions of the canvas, sanded and scraped down others, and added the birch trees and lower left houses that dominate the foreground. It was daunting to introduce so much change into a painting with so much already invested in it, but I'm happier with the result because of it.