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George Inness

Many land­scape artists try for spec­tac­u­lar light effects. Mostly, they fail to make it look con­vinc­ing. Georges Inness (Amer­i­can, 18251894) made it seem easy.

Early Autumn Montclair

Georgia Pines Afternoon

Home at Montclair

Sunset at Etretat

The Trout Brook

Not all of his paint­ings depend on spe­cial effects like this, but these are some of his best.

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15 Responses

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  1. Jiddje says

    Hi David!. I just dis­cov­ered your inter­est­ing sto­ries and lessons about paint­ing and every­thing that comes to paint­ing. And I must say, it makes me absorb the arti­cles. I learn a lot from you and your fel­low artwrit­ers and it improves my paint­ings (I hope…). Con­tinue writ­ing and paint­ing (!) and I will look for­ward to your next arti­cle. An artis­tic greet­ing from Holland.

  2. David says



  3. jeff says

    George Inness is an inter­est­ing and orig­i­nal painter. For he is one of the great­est land­scape painters.
    Your right about light effects, it’s hard to do.
    I am work­ing on this right now.

  4. Triecia says

    Stun­ning work, thank you for direct­ing me to it.

  5. rena says

    I have been try­ing to learn his glaz­ing and tex­ture tech­niques. Please help me find a class or work­shop or book about these tonal tech­niques. I can not find anthing.

    • R. McCurdy says

      I can be of assis­tance I believe. His tech­nique is not all that dif­fi­cult. Not really that much glaz­ing done. And you might want to aban­don can­vas. Inness almost always painted on ply­wood. Most of us from that school come to real­ize that alot of the tex­tur­ing seen on late 19th cen­tury paint­ings is cre­ated by the artist, not the paint­ing sur­face. Iness did a lot of oil dry brush to build up to the den­sity of color and a final dry glaze for the chroma of color. That is the way I paint. And you should know that many of those paints are not man­u­factued any­more. In that respest we have been ripped off. We can only emu­late these mas­ters colors

  6. David says


    I’m sorry, but I don’t know much about Inness’ meth­ods. From the exam­ples I’ve seen in muse­ums, it mostly looks like direct, bravura brush strokes com­bined with occa­sional glaz­ing. It does not look like a tech­ni­cally com­plex approach to paint­ing. But that’s just a guess.

  7. rena says

    Thanks for get­ting back with me. What are bravura brush strokes? Do you know of any artists that have that style?

  8. R. mccurdy says

    I am a mas­ter roman­tic real­ist stu­dio painter from Penn­syl­va­nia and my school of study has always been the Brandy­wine River School of artists as well as a few Hud­son River school mas­ters, namely George Inness and Winslow Homer. Take a look at my works of art and see if I might be of help to any of your question’s. I only want to help. Sin­cerely
    R. mccurdy Penn­syl­va­nia Roman­tic Real­ist Painter and Illus­tra­tor http://​www​.mccur​d​yart​.net

  9. Anwar says

    Went to D.C. and Cincin­nati to see his show at the Taft. I get the idea he just more or less rubbed in the gen­eral effect and then refined with smaller brushes. Based on his har­monies I think likely in a mono­chrome to start. His medium seems ordi­nary– not greasy not dry occa­sion­ally crack­ing if used much which indi­cates to me a resin. Basi­cally I think he just went at it in the nor­mal kinda search­ing man­ner and kept at it until it came about fully. I sup­pose know­ing when to stop must have been an over­rid­ing con­cern for him. That and keep­ing it all under con­trol until the end.

  10. david says

    Some­times for a lumi­nous effect for clouds I use a sil­ver and bronze base then build on it with lay­ers of glaze and thin lay­ers of cream tones until there is a just dis­cern­able glow to the cream or white that I wish to achieve. I liked see­ing the pic­tures thank you for shar­ing them.

  11. RobHead says

    Try build­ing up an impasto base of white lead in the ini­tial lay-in. Build tex­ture and bril­liance with Lead white (lean white) in the under­paint­ing stage, glaze and scum­ble on top of that as usu­ual when dry. It will glow. Also remem­ber that what­ever color you put in — bright , clear and trans­par­ent in the under­paint­ing –will glow through almost every suc­ce­sive coat in oils. You can’t kill the glow of a cad yel­low scrub in later stages for instance. In oil pain­ing, what’s under­neath affects what’s on top.

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