View Full Version : Hutton in the Forest WIP

09-05-2013, 05:12 AM
Hutton in the Forest is one of my favourite gardens in the Lake District, partly because they allow dogs!

This painting is from a photo I took in the formal garden. It's about 11x15" on canson touch, pale blue.

I'm happy enough with the far background but would like your input on other aspects of it. The old trimmed Yews are a part of the garden so, although they are rather bun shaped, I decided to put them in. What do you think? Do they look incongruous?

I also put a curve at the front of the path. Not sure whether I should, as it is straight in fact with Yew hedges backing the borders. Thoughts?

Also, the path is gravel and very light. Should I darken it a little. I'm feeling maybe I should. At the mo it only has a scribble of pale pink on it so there's a long way to go with it.

I'd love your comments, although I am itching to go work on it again so will probably have made my own decisions in the next few hours!


09-05-2013, 10:33 AM
I like the Yews Ruthie. If they are incongruous, it's because they look somewhat out of place against the other foliage but isn't that exactly the point? They are the most interesting aspect to me. They are painted beautifully, as is everything else, but the Yews are what I want to look at!
And those orange flowers are dreamy. I love it. My 2 cents.

Donna T
09-05-2013, 03:23 PM
I agree with Matt, Ruthie; I love the yews! They are so different and they give such an old-world feeling to this piece. I'm guessing you have darkened the path, or at least the bottom half of it to make it easier to enter this scene. The flowers are lovely! I look forward to seeing your finishing touches.

09-05-2013, 04:29 PM
Thank you Matt and Donna. I'm glad you like the Yews. So do I, although I nearly didn't put them in. I think they give the scene a bit of solidity.

I did do some more and I straightened the path having decided it wouldn't matter as the foliage was pouring out over it anyway. I did darken the path too but is it enough? Maybe not?

Any C&C welcome.

The fact that I have signed it does NOT mean it is finished :D


09-05-2013, 07:25 PM
Both paintings are beautiful. I actually like the curved path in the first one more but cannot tell you why. I could see a little more texture in the path. Flowers are wonderful. Pam:wave:

09-07-2013, 04:43 AM
Thanks Pam! I think my "straightening" of the path has made it seem, visually, to cut straight down the middle, although it doesn't of course. There is quite a bit of texture in the path but it doesn't show up in the photo. Maybe it's still too light in value?
I may even crop this square....hmm, worth a look.

09-07-2013, 12:05 PM
Hi Ruthie! :wave:

I love this. I really like the way you handle those greens! The teal flowers are fab! I agree that the meandering path works better.
You are inspiring my friend.

09-07-2013, 01:04 PM
Ruthie, this is really lovely. The flowers are gorgeous and the distant trees look great. I agree the path now seems too straight. Maybe a slight curve in the distance left or right and cooling it as it recedes would take away the arrow feel. You will get it.

09-07-2013, 01:15 PM
Very nice. Looks like a wonderful place to stroll!

09-07-2013, 04:44 PM
I love those yews, they give this garden scene something special. The flowers are fab, it shows that you're a dedicated gardener. The path for me is still too light in value and perhaps too monochrome - maybe scumble some of that muted violet you used for the distant trees here and there to give it a bit of texture?

09-08-2013, 03:35 AM
That path is a tricky problem. It is rather bland, sorry. And because, as Dorothea says, it is so light in value, it attracts too much attention.

To get it moving back in space, perhaps you could warm the foreground, and put in some suggestion of texture, and make the distance slightly cooler.

It is a bit of a lesson actually, to learn to take photos when the sun is offering you something to work with ...shadows across that path would make all the difference, but I suspect you were there when the sun was pretty high in the sky, so there is little in the way of directional light. You could adjust that by looking at some photos of paths where the sunlight is hitting from the left.

Here is a digital version...I am not good with a mouse, but I thinkyou perhaps can get the general idea


09-08-2013, 11:11 AM
This has such a great feeling of the garden in sunlight. Very well rendered.

09-08-2013, 02:30 PM
Judi, thank you so much!
Jen, thanks! yes, I'll get there, one way or another :cat:

Cris, Thanks! I love going there because, as well as the formal gardens, there is a lovely woodland walk too.

Dorothea Thank you! Yes, something must happen to that path :rolleyes: Thanks for the suggestion.

Jackie, Thank you for that. Yes, I know about trying to get shadows in photos and, yes, I should've thought of introducing a little more shadow to give value variation on the path. Thank you so much for showing your idea. I think you're pretty good with a mouse and it's good of you to take the trouble!

Derek Jonathan :D Thanks my friend!

I have also received some advice from Donna T by PM so I will try and decide on the best option when I get back to this one.

At the moment I'm doing a new one, a figure, my favourite so it may be a day or two before I get back to this...but I will!

09-08-2013, 03:54 PM
challenging scene !
good idea to let it rest awhile . :)

> had to pull the pix into preview b/c the height/width ratio on my screen chops off 20% or so .

it has everything to do with the path ;
- vertical center
- colour/texture
- linear depth ( the ' train track ' perspective thing :rolleyes: )
- viewer's object memory/comparison of 4" flower and 40' tree = illusion of depth by comparative size on the painting .

imho , these are elements to consider at this viewpoint so that the sense of scale has a continuity ...


09-08-2013, 04:11 PM
Thanks Ed! Yes, I'll consider it a while. Have to say though that there are no 4" flowers or 40' trees in this painting!
And what I keep coming back to is that it's a formal garden and the paths are straight. Maybe that simply makes it a bad subject for a painting.....

09-08-2013, 04:49 PM
Wonderful !

09-09-2013, 04:34 PM
Thank you Toniov! There's still more to be done to this. I'm wondering if I can collaborate with another artist. I'll do the far distance and maybe to mid ground and someone else can do the foreground! I am no good at foregrounds!

09-10-2013, 05:57 PM
Lovely,excellent Use Of Colour.

09-11-2013, 11:06 AM
Thank you Mark! I have yet to get back to this, maybe tomorrow.......