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.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Tree Portrait, 10 x 12
In one of my recent classes, we focused on painting trees, and the exercise for the day was to paint just one tree. With trees, whether working from a photo or from life, it's the artist's job to reshape the tree into a pleasing piece of artwork, not simply copy the shape you see before you. We worked on blocking in a large, simplified shape that we placed into the composition keeping in mind the rule of thirds for a good center of interest, and making sure no key elements divided the composition in half. From there, the trick is to divide up the large shape into the smaller elements of the tree, making sure to vary each shape and negative space (the negative space being the sky holes). With the leaves coming back on the trees this time of year, it's a great time to get out and observe firsthand!