Saturday, November 17, 2012

daily painting practice - tree study - ideas from the north woods-

I have started to do some small color studies.

Friends of ours invited us back to the North Woods of Wisconsin this fall. There is no greater gift in the world then to be invited to the North Woods, especially for an artist who is in love with trees. I admit it , I am a tree hugger.  What is there not to love about painting trees?  

Trees can be hard  to paint though.  I should say, tricky to paint.   Finding the form  is the hardest part for me. Especially when I am painting the thick woods.
 I am experimenting with a limited palette of colors. I think I used 4 colors plus white.
 I tried to capture the idea of an older tree surrounded a bunch of young ones. If the idea works in this small format I may enlarge it or use part of it in a larger painting. But I'm not out of the woods yet.... just a limited palette pun to keep you on your toes.
Did you ever feel yourself losing control of the painting process?  I did, right about at this stage. It might have been a good idea to  take a break  and make a cup of tea. Instead,  I took the palette knife and scraped most of the paint off and started again.
I started by warming up the foreground.

I had put the scraped off paint in a pile on my palette. It made such a nice gray tone,  I  just put it back in.


Tree study
oil on board

The limited palette helps keep the colors all in the same family. It really doesn't limit your choices of color. I  think my pre-scaped stage had a little bit more punch. Oh well, should have, would have, could have...
 I think the idea works though and that's the important thing. I'll save this and see if it has a future.  


Sharon Kay said...

I am so very happy to see you painting and blogging again. I have missed you!

sharon said...

I see how you thought the first was too bright and not "woodsy"enough and you have captured the mood now and made it magical!! good job!

annie said...
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René PleinAir said...

Your doing just fine Peter, what I've discovered is that the wipe off methode works very well for forrest and trees. You just paint everything behind the tree and when you come to the point your want to put inn the tree just wipe it clean with a lightly turped rag. One other thing that's working well is a pre wash to start with, you even can paint the whole background in that pre wash with a rag and some brushes. Glad you find it hard and tricky as well, ... thought it was just me. ;-)