It was heavy overcast and rain today at Scotsdale Farm. Gorgeous.
The rain coupled with any breezes combine to bring down the leaves. They are perhaps 30% down now. Tree structure is showing nicely. A pleasant break from riotous colour. That brilliant colour field is fine in the context of the wide angle landscape. In a crop of a painting it soon gets to be too much. We have perhaps 10 days of this glorious colour. Then..........
Here are a few suggestions for painting the fall landscape.
- Paint on site.
- Relax with a hot coffee and let the compositions register instead of hurrying to start.
- Bring layers of your cold weather clothing. You can take layers away, but hard to add what you don't have.
- Look for the few masses required for a good painting. Avoid letting colour trump simplicity.
- Make sure you have cadmiums for your palette - yellow, orange, red.
- If it is too garish, try using a restricted earth tone palette. Enable the complements.
- Consider dropping the value of the sky to provide colour contrast. See the photo reference above.
- Use complements, remaining greens, and muted yellows to offset the garishness.
- After the peak use the tree structure and sky holes to give colour relief.
- Look for vivid reflected colours.
- Look for opportunities to stack values - lights against darks against lights.
- Look for foliage contrasts.
- Consider understating the foliage. Use complements to do this.
- Use colours from each mass in each other mass to unify colour.
- In the rain, get under the foliage. Avoid this practice if lightening threatens.