I no longer post to my blog, but it contains several years worth of short articles I've written regarding various painting tips, thoughts, and inspiration for pastelists and oil painters. I began the blog in 2011 simply as a resource for students I taught at my studio at the time. I stopped posting in 2018, but even though I've grown in my artistic journey since then, much of what I've shared here is still relevant, and therefore I've kept it visible for anyone who cares to skim though it.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Trees, Trees, and More Trees
Towering Trees, 12 x 9
Since many of the artists in my Wednesday class do plein air painting, I thought we'd focus on tree shapes. When painting outdoors and dealing with the changing light, it's important to work quickly. But sometimes it's a good idea to slow down in the studio and really take the time to learn how to "sculpt" a tree. Copying tree shapes exactly as we see them typically produces a boring tree. As artists it's our job to improve upon what we see, whether from a photo or while painting on location, and this means learning how to create interesting shapes within a tree as well as the overall shape of a tree, or group of trees. This painting was begun with massing in large dark shapes, focusing on the positive and negative shapes of the large group of trees, while also making sure the lower third of the composition worked with the overall shape of the large trees.