Monday, March 22, 2010

Transitioning the Season of Mud

Last years growth is still in its death throes.  Some new growth is showing in the tree tips, the dogwoods, and such.  For those who revel in painting their impression of what they see it is rewarding to subordinate the dirty browns and greys.  This is fairly straight forward in a sun filled composition where you capture the light and not the local colour (see block studies for approach).  Another strategy is to choose something like a water based composition.

Here the water rushed below, around the dominant Pine, over some short falls,  swirling into the valley below winding its way through all sorts of debris.  The afternoon sun picked its spots.  The cars were brushing my arm.

Deciding what to eliminate was the challenge along with perspective.  I wanted to subordinate most of the tangle.

Another Angle, 10x12, Oil on Board

I took learnings from block studies to help me "see" the cools and warms.  There is no old growth mud in the composition so the colours are quite vivid.

This painting was done with an old number 4 bristle flat.  The palette was Ultramarine, Viridian, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Deep, and Alizarin along with Titanium white.  The paint was applied thickly to create texture.


  1. That old #4 is one of my favorites. Love the bold colors.

  2. Hi Pam,
    Old #4 often slips into my hand without me knowing. For me I find using it induces me to go to the end of the painting without starting so to speak. On this occasion I used it on purpose, one brush, no cleaning, just wiping. Block studies sure tune up your colour, but they require some discipline - rather be painting something else. I try to do block studies or still life under controlled light on Thursdays.

  3. Near the Bruce Trail in the hills near Erin.