Oil Painting - Pinckney Light

Here’s another oil painting I just finished based on my photos from Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge in the Hilton Head Island area of South Carolina. It’s a great island park for photography, birdwatching, hiking, and biking. This was a gravel road I walked down that the edges of the road were covered in pine needles. There was dappled light coming through the trees hitting the path leaving very nice shadows that could be painted in dark purple.

Pinckney Light, 9”x11” Oil on Canvas Panel


Like many who try to paint in the tradition of the impressionist masters, I rarely use gray or black in my shadows. I never used to see the cool purple or blue tones in shadows before I started painting. Painting and photography have both changed the way I view the world. As I travel or spend time in nature hiking, I see compositions and colors that I never saw before. I have to think this is common for anyone involved in these two hobbies or professions.

I started this one with the intention of photographing the progress step by step. I made a grid on the print of my reference photograph and used that to get the proportions close on my sketch. For some reason I decided not to tone my canvas with this painting. I sketched right onto the canvas panel.


I took the shot below as I started the block in phase of the painting, but quickly got lost in the painting process and didn’t take another progress photo until about four hours later when it was substantially complete. Oh well, I will try again with the next painting. If this is like anything else I have painted, I will add tweaks over the next couple of days before I put it on the shelf to dry.


Below is the original uncropped photo that inspired the painting. I cropped it to center the path more on the canvas and in the painting, I didn’t go quite as dark on some of the foliage. I also eliminated some foliage to let the sky shine through more. I hope you like my interpretation in oil paint of this scene from the coast of South Carolina.



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