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The Oxtongue Rapids


The Oxtongue Rapids is a large 30 x 36 inch oil on gallery wrapped canvas which I did years ago. I sold the original to a client who lives in Michigan who enjoys visiting this area yearly.

The scene is on the Oxtongue River near Dwight, Ontario, not far from the entrance to Algonquin Park.

I began with the sky with a very pale mix of French ultramarine muted with flake white. This gives the viewer a sense of distance. The treed areas were both begun with a blend of equal parts of Prussian blue and alizarin crimson to establish depth with strokes going downward. The same mix was applied to the river and front rocks. You need to always be careful to have the strokes go in the direction of what you are painting. For example, the river flows downward, not across the painting. Proper direction can affect your painting as the light reflects off your work.

For the trees on the left far back, there were multiple layers, first Prussian green, then areas of terre vert, followed by yellow ochre, naples yellow and bismuth yellow mixed with titanium white.

The trees were built up using a triple zero brush and worked from back to front but detail can be loose.

However in the large treed area on the right detail is more important. After a thin layer of Prussian green dries, your branches are first framed with cobalt turquoise and overlays of olive green , chrome yellow and again a light touch of bismuth.

The large tree in the front, and the rocks, are done with olive green and paynes grey. The river is more complex, using magenta, cobalt blue, and French ultramarine. Around the rapids you see cerulean blue, in tiny areas.

If you look closely you will notice the ducks at the base of the falls, which give the viewers a sense of how big the rapids are.

Many canoeists have mentioned to me that they would climb out of the river by the distant yellow trees and portage their kayaks and canoes around, as the rapids were so swift. Except, one fellow, a politician, showed me that he had a little S shaped scar on his left index finger from crashing into the boulders when he tried to run the main part of the rapids with his kayak.

This beautiful scene has just been released as one of my new 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles and is available in my Alton Mill Arts Centre studio.

Note: If you are interested in purchasing any of Lynden’s art you will also find her contact info on the right sidebar.

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