Monday, May 11, 2009

After the Run Off

For the people of Glen Williams this tree is a land mark.  Our kids swung off it every summer when the heat became oppressive or they were looking for something to do.  It is a black walnut.  Under its swing branch there is a remnant from construction past that holds water in a pool deeper that the calf-deep water in the rest of the river.  I have painted it from various angles over the years.  This time I went to the river after dinner and painted it face on into the evening sun.  It is a viewpoint from the bridge.  The run off this year, along with the February thaw, removed considerable bank to the point where the tree root system is now about half exposed.  May be a historical painting in waiting.  Another reason for a series.

Undercut, 11x 14, Oil on canvas

The problem was to provide enough light and enough dark given the time of day.  Another time a square canvas might provide some help with compositional considerations.

The painting was done using bristle filbert brushes #6, *, and 10 and a palette knife.  The palette consisted of ultramarine, viridian, cad yellow medium, alizarin, and earth tones ( to shorten mixing time) transparent red oxide, yellow ochre, naples yellow and titanium white.  The canvas was prepared with a coloured ground (ultramarine and transparent red oxide) instead of using a wash to begin the painting from a white canvas.  Alkyd gel was used for a medium.  This medium makes the paint go on extremely smoothly.   It requires a feel for getting layers on wet in wet.  It keeps the wet look when dry.

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