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.
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.
This 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.
I 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.