Large Studio Landscapes from Sketches

Here is the process for a large studio landscape. First on the left is one of the many small studies I do while driving endlessly in search of the ‘big view’. Next, in the middle is the ‘study’ which actually takes quite a while. This one took over a week to complete as the light was only right for a couple of hours each day. Finally on the right is the lay-in for the final composition. I made some changes on the right while on-site (in my sketchbook), but for the most part I was happy with the original ‘sketch’.

Here is a short video of the lay-in for the large painting. Now I have another couple of months of ‘fiddling’ to do on it. Some of the elements will move around at this stage as well.

Here is an updated image of the painting as of the beginning of December:

Monti (Gaiole in Chianti). 2009, oil on linen, 150 x 180 cm.


  1. Thanks for posting this video – very interesting. Do you usually work from background to foreground? I am surprised that you work straight from a while canvas without toning it first. Is it because you already have your colors worked out from your studies?

  2. Hi. I was taught to start a landscape by always keying the sky first, from there I just tend to work down. Using the same brushes I used for the sky in the distance mountains is useful for getting the correct hue. As far as I know this is what R. H. Ives Gammell taught Charles Cecil (who taught me).

    The bone-colored ground also comes from Cecil Studios. I find it keeps the paintings much more luminous. A few years ago I started putting imprimaturas on my small boards for outdoor studies, but for large work I prefer a light ground.

  3. Hi Marc,
    Heres a question for you. Does your projector use s.l.r. slides [ from a manual camera ]or is it connected to a still from your camcorder?
    Could it also be used to correct drawings, on to a blank canvas. Is there any paryicular type you would recommend………..and why.
    Love your work, first saw it up close last year on a visit to Florence.So painterly.

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