October 3, 2007

Autumn Woods - an update

I was absolutely dissatisfied with the leaves that I had begun in this painting. I had only done the initial layer and there was still a long way to go, but the first step itself was not in the right direction I felt. Being the oil painter that I am, I had this urge to pick up my palette knife and paint to my heart's content. And yeah, thats exactly what I did.

Autumn Woods - Stage 5
(c) Nithya Swaminathan

I have no clue if acrylic painters actually use the palette knife, this was the first time I did. I have used it with oil paintings, and I love the textures the knife generates. My leaves now have got that texture too and I am liking it. The end result is satisfying, though they look like gulmohars and not maples, LOL! The reference image has no clear direction of light, which I wanted to change. Hence I introduced some light from the right side and pushed the darks in the shadows with a lot of blue. Also, I introduced some flesh tint and mild yellows in the barks that face the sunlight, to bring in the sunlit effect. Wonder if I have succeeded fully.

Autumn Woods - detail close up
(c) Nithya Swaminathan

What you see above is a little close up of the leaves, how haphazardly they are done without any actual leaf shapes. I love doing that. I simply picked up some scarlett red, orange and lemon yellow in my knife and went about it without a thought. The dark bluish black lines behind are shadows of the leaves and branches on the trees behind. I introduced these sharp shadows also to accentuate the sunlit effect that I was trying for.

Autumn Woods - stage 6
(c) Nithya Swaminathan

I think I would call the top half of the painting done, excepting the ferns in the front. They need some more highlights on them and I am half way with them. I have just begun working on the reflection, have loosely laid in the barks. When I started with the reflections, I felt like adding some wet rocks along the banks. Some rocks with a coating of algae on them. Wonder if it would go along well with the painting or work against it. You will probably get to know that tomorrow.:-)


  1. Nithya, hi it's Sharrm from WetC. Followed your link.
    Your painting is looking so good. Yes, the light source shows up well, and yes, I have used a knife with acrylics. I too find it very helpful, for leaves, trees, stones etc. If you have used one for Oils, you should find it a bit different with acrylics, but you will do well. Some people use a gel medium -to thicken the paint- from Golden.
    Love the reflections already. Servers should be working by tomorrow, so you can upload.
    See you there.

  2. Hi Sharron,
    Thanks for stopping by:-) I am so relieved to know that the light source actually shows, coz I am still not convinced about it. Will leave the painting alone for couple of days and get back to have a fresh look at it, whether it needs any changes.


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