Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tree Study

Well, I've not been happy with my trees lately. There are a number of issues that I have with them. First of all, the colors that I use for my greens are a bit too saturated. Not terribly so, but a bit more than I like. The second issue is that the massing of the trees are not quite right. Most of my trees looks like balls or cylinders. This means that I'm not actually looking at a tree, but using a tree representation in my paintings. Okay, how do I fix that. Simple... more plein air work and studies.

So, this morning, rather than going out somewhere to do a full plein air study, I just went out my back deck. The tree on the right is the tree in my backyard. There's no reason to go anywhere when you have study material all around you.

First thing I did was to mix various colors of green to match the color that I saw. I mixed various versions of Cadmium Yellow (light, hue, and deep) with various versions of Blue (Ultramarine Deep, Ultramarine Light, Cerulean) and my favorite dark green (payne's grey with Cadmium deep). Using a palette knife, I mixed the colors and held them up to the tree to see what matched. Some of them, I had to add some greys to tone down the saturation a bit.

Once I got the colors right, I then started squinting and separating the dark and light areas. This gave me my basic structure. From there, it's magic. Adding a bit of light grey here and there for the highlights and a bit of the dark green to the mid-green to darken some areas.

Overall, I'm pleased with my results. However, still need a lot more practice with it.

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