Ice Reflections

In this 8×10 painting, I really wanted to push the warmth in the bushes to contrast all the cold in this scene. That part went pretty well, but I really struggled with the reflections in the ice. This is how it looks after 3 attempts at getting it right. At this point I have decided to let it dry before I do it again. It kind of amazes me sometimes, the things I struggle with. It certainly isn’t predictable. I am hoping that I can get it right on the fourth go round. we shall see.  Anyone with helpful tips here is welcome to chime in ( =

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Juneau Mini paintings

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These are each 2.5×3.5 inches. They are so much fun to paint! I guess I have always liked detail. The fun thing is, they look very detailed (they are for the size) but in fact I do have to minimize how much detail there is.

Frosty Mendenhall Evening

Frosty Mendenhall MorningThis is the view from my dining room windows. It is not always visible because of all the low clouds and rain that we get, but when it is, it is spectacular! During winter the low sun creates the most beautiful lighting effects on everything. On this evening the frost was really thick on everything. It tends to build up because the sun doesn’t get high enough to melt it off things. So the hoarfrost almost seems to grow. This made everything seem so cool and gray and soft compared to the bright warm glow on the mountain peaks. I cannot seem to get a photo of this painting that really shows the coloring well, but this isn’t too bad.  As with a few of my paintings now, I have painted this a couple times (or pretty close to this) and it gets a little better each time.

Creek Shadows

IMG_0802    This 10×8 oil painting was done of a photo taken while hiking here in Juneau. I really wanted to paint this as a challenge to myself. I loved the dappled sunshine on the shallow water leading into the picture. I think it turned out ok. I really tried not to overwork it. I may go back in and lighten up a few spots in the background, but over all I’m please with the results.

Beams in the Woods

IMG_9741 (800x548)This image caught my eye because of the contrasting light and dark. I really enjoy being in the woods, and this scene is a good example of why. I love how the sunlight can just break though a small area and make it glow while the rest of the woods stay in the shadows. This seems like a happy little spot to enjoy a walk.

One More Underpainting

Into the woods (3)IMG_7703

This will be my final example for now of how useful a more detailed Underpainting can be. This is another wooded scene where my trees could easily have all gotten lost or run together as I went along. By having my Underpainting sort of map out my values, it was much easier to keep track of where my trees were separated. This also was helpful for me to see whrere it was important to perhaps place a darker tree next to a lighter one in order to distinguish it or make it more focal. It really is nice to be able to play around with your composition and value at this point before you have invested too much time. For me, it is invaluable when the painting has much detail.

Detailed Underpainting

Maine woods (3)Maine Woods

 

This is an example of a two tone Underpainting where it was extremely necessary. I felt like there would be no way for me to keep track of my distant trees without a basic guide layer down first. This gave me a clear idea of my values before I started and also acted like a map for me to keep from having my trees get lost in the forest (so to speak).  You can see that an Underpainting can be quite vague or extremely detailed. It is very interesting to play around with.

Pond Reflections

IMG_8019This is a little 5×7 that just looked like a challenge with all the foliage and the upside down reflections. You can almost turn it upside down to display it as well. ( =  I am finding that greens can be a challenge, especially when there are so many different shades in one painting. This is probably another thing I could practice…the many different greens.

Sunny Bend

Auke Rec PointI continue to find trees extremely challenging yet I am seeing progress. It is a challenge to know where to begin some of these pictures of the woods, but I felt like I at least had some direction this time. I still feel like this could be improved on if I did it again, but I’m happy with it for now. I’m still feeling a strong attraction for painting woodland scenes and especially trees themselves, in fact I found a guy that paints ‘tree portraits’ yesterday on Pintrest. His name is David Langevin. His stuff is amazing. It may be a similar direction I’d like to go in eventually. You can check out his work on whiterockgallery.com. Just search his name.