Report on the March 2015 meeting:

Duane Barnhart – Minnesota Landscape


Duane Barnhart 2DSCN2267Duane Barnhart describes himself as a “fair weather plein air painter.”

Hailing from Aitken, Minnesota, he loves the northern landscape with endless trees and water, the subject of his March 19 demo.

He began by describing his unique process of creating a painting surface which does not require a mat or glass – watercolor paper mounted on masonite. He first cuts a sheet of eighth-inch masonite in the size on the intended painting. He coats the board with matte or gloss medium (Golden) and fixes the watercolor paper (90 pound or 140 pound) to the board, weighting it down so that it will adhere. He then has a rigid watercolor surface.

When the painting is complete, he gives it DSCN2270several DSCN2273coats of UV varnish and places it in a frame without glass.

Duane started the painting with a loose sketch of a northern landscape from a reference photo. Using his favorite large Silver Brush, he washed in a sky with ultramarine and alizarin. He then painted major connected shapes in the background and foreground with cool and warm colors leaving white spaces.

Letting this dry, he continued with darker values and distinct tree shapes. “It’s always good to sneak a little red in,” he advised as the final brush strokes were applied. 

DSCN2275Duane teaches at the Jacques Center in Aitkin. He is also a professional cartoonist. Visit his website at