Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Autumn Woodland Stream


I’ve been away from my blog most of the winter but I’ve been busy painting in both oil and pastel and finally had a somewhat decent and sunny day when I could photograph a couple of my painting. It’s been a frustrating winter for me artistically and physically since I’ve been unwell on and off for much of it and found myself in a creative rut where everything that I did was less than satisfactory; however, I did manage to complete one landscape painting that I’m mostly happy with, called Autumn Woodland Stream.

This painting is composed from a couple reference pictures that I found of the Bruce Trail near Hamilton, Ontario.  I used to have the odd opportunity to hike along the beautiful woodland along the Niagara Escarpment and have happy memories of those years during my 20s. I did a few value studies and compositional sketches before starting the first block in. All in all there are probably 3-5 layers of oil paint since I used thinner transparent colors to create what I hope is an interesting surface for the painting, than I added details in key areas where I want the viewer’s eye to travel.  I also created several visual pathways using value changes and hopefully well placed tree branches to create a semi dramatic atmosphere in an otherwise quiet woodlot. I hope that I’ve managed to capture a sense of the sacredness of the forest, the water and all its creatures.

For all those pigment fanatics, I used W&N artist’s Titanium white, yellow ocher, cadmium orange, cerulean blue, cobalt blue, burnt sienna and Old Holland, Zinc White, Persian red and French Ultramarine Blue Light Extra (which is great for those darker violets). I’ve starting painting a few studies using pigments by Blockx, Michael Harding and Old Holland and will probably leave W&N behind since the higher quality paint have a much better pigment load  resulting in better luminosity and intensity then the cheaper pigments. The Michael Harding Cobalt blue and Blockx Yellow Ocher are both especially nice, I will be trying more pigments by these two companies in the future. And Old Holland can’t be beat, I adore their FUB and Red Iron Oxide (Persian/Indian Red), together they create a lovely natural mauve, you just need to be careful that you don’t blow the blue out of the water with the super dense Persian red.

For some reason the photo seems to be flattening the composition; in reality, the actual painting seems to have more depth but at least the colors are more or less correct. Camera + painting = frustration. lol

Autumn Woodland Stream, 16x25", Oil On Canvas
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5 comments:

  1. This is very very beautifu. And your hepth in your painting is marvelous. I know that the pictures will not give the most reality picture, but this is gorgeous.
    Lovely greet
    Marja
    www.marjascreativity.blogspot.com

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  2. Nice to see you back painting and hope that you are feeling better. Its a beautiful painting and a place I'd love to visit one day!

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  3. Thank you Both Claire and Marja, it's always nice to hear from other artists. Hopefully I'll be feeling better after surgery and back to my easel full time again soon.

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  4. Great depth here and lovely warm colours.

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  5. Thanks Jane, good to hear that I managed to achieve depth, I actually had some doubt about this one.

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