View Full Version : autumn tree

02-15-2013, 10:08 AM
oil on 16 x 20 canvas.
my impression of a tree in fall last year near me.

02-15-2013, 03:14 PM
Sometimes everyone cant sing at once and you just need a soloist. The soloist here should be that lovely center of interest tree. But the leaves on the left and the yellow sandbars are competing too hard. If you mute them you will have more harmony.

02-16-2013, 08:32 AM
Thank you for the reply. I've dulled the competitors to the spotlight a little, and added some yellow straight to the focal tree.

02-17-2013, 01:42 AM
You're certainly good at the bold brush stroke. I wish I were -- I just mince along, and pay for it at the end with an uninspired-looking painting. Somehow you do the bold strokes but keep the texture coherent and rational looking.

Anyhow, I wish the sky were bluer, and the tree trunks darker. More contrast in general. Even the big tree in the middle needs some shadows amongst its foliage. Look at foliage in bright sunlight. It's 30-50% black from all the shadows.

I myself would try for more realism. For example, in the lower right quadrant of the painting, it's hard to tell what is being depicted. Bushes? Leaves on the ground? Gigantic butterflies?

The painting has a strange appeal for me. I don't quite understand it.

02-17-2013, 04:43 AM
Hi mackay333

You've created a rather interesting impressionistic work and I agree, it is appealing. I wouldn't push it any further towards realism.

I really like your use of muted colours (including the sky) juxtaposed with the gorgeous yellows of the focal tree.

I suppose if it was my work I'd be adding some blue and purple to complement the yellows and orange and introduce some stronger contrasts, but then the work might lose something of its 'tranquility' and appeal.


02-17-2013, 07:33 AM
Thank you all for your comments. My first impression of the photograph was that of a cloudy day, thus the lack of blue in the sky and strong contrast or shadows. Looking at the photograph again, it may have been taken in late afternoon when the horizon here is white (no smog or dust storms) and the creek would have been in the shade of the hillside behind the viewer. I guess that is the advantage of plein air painting, knowing more about the conditions and more accurate colors than using just a photo like I did.

I noticed that unfortunately I don't have the right kind of lighting to show all the colors I used accurately in the photo of the painting. Maybe that is what I should do today, look at Walmart to see if they have the right temperature light bulbs. What comes across as black in the greens is actually cobalt blue brushed into the green. I like the idea of adding purple too, perhaps a hint in the sky and water?