I took this photo on vacation, and I really like the contrast of the white aspen trunks against the dark evergreens. I manipulated it in Photoshop to emphasize that contrast in the printout, which I will use to paint from. The road entering from the corner is something I really like, although it sometimes can be a dangerous placement, because it can lead the eye out of the painting, unless used carefully.
Here is the printout with my gesso mixing container and brush.
There is something very satisfying about making a canvas. This one is a recycle, so it already has a hanging wire on the back.
Tabla rasa ... the canvas before the application of the gesso.
Sign of the Cross ... the first application of the colored gesso is done out from the center to the centers of the four edges in order to prevent pulling the stretcher bars out of square. The gesso, acrylic paint and water are very strong and the canvas drooped toward the center, as though it might not tighten up, but I knew it would, from past experience.
The Ground of Being ... the deep blue-violet will be a nice place to begin. All the lighter colors will "pop" from this deep background. For me, this part of the process is exciting; it must be accomplished quickly before the gesso begins to tear the canvas.