March 6, 2009

Deep woods - WIP

There is a virtual classroom on doing Trees and Foliage happening in the WetCanvas Acrylics forum, and here is my painting that I am doing along with the class. Though I do a lot of landscapes, I always make foliage quite messy, so this was a good opportunity to learn from an experienced painter. I am one confused soul right now as I am unsure how the painting will shape up. But here is a step by step process so far.

I am using two references merged for this painting. One is of a woods scenery in my neighborhood here, and the foreground is from a scene in India.:) The woods are largely with winter trees, with some hint of dried up fall leaves here and there. To begin, I directly sketched the trees on the canvas with a very watery burnt sienna. Have done the sky also quite watery now, with cerulean blue and titanium white. I plan to have some trees in the background, very shallow waters in the foreground with some rocks here and there. I also have a fallen branch in the foreground.

And then I have started adding dark foliage in between the trees. The colors used are olive green, some crimson and burnt sienna. The trees are mainly birch trees, and they are quite fun to paint.

Then I suddenly decided I wanted couple of more bigger trees in the foreground, and have sketched them with some olive green. Thats generally how haphazardly I work :D Since the background foliage is not supposed to be so dark, I have added a layer with titanium white, mauve and olive green. Very loosely mixed on the canvas itself. This is a night photo and it not so good.

Then I realize that the trees all look very evenly spaced, so define them a little more in clusters. Have added another layer of the sky too, as the first layer was too watery.

And then with some yellow ochre, burnt sienna and a hint of orange, I have added some foliage in the background. It is a winter scene with only dried up fall leaves, so no bright colors used really.

With some flesh tint for the brighter side, and pthalo blue + burnt sienna for the darker sides, I have done the trees again. After my daughter's portrait last year where I spent a lot of time getting the flesh tones right, I bought this tube of flesh tint. My daughter's portrait is done with mixed flesh tones, no flesh tint straight off the tube. But ever since I have got this color, I have used it for everything but portraits. I am finding a great use for it in still lifes, and now in landscapes as well. Huh! Here is how it looks right now.

Today I will be working on the trees some more, I hope to pull out my palette knife too. Then I will start working on the water. Look forward to an update in a couple of days.


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