View Full Version : Question re: morning sun through trees

09-16-2004, 03:16 PM
Hi. I am new and would like to ask a question and am hoping that I am in the right place. Not sure of the protocol here - read the rules but to be honest I'm a little confused. I am painting with acrylics a scene that I saw. The morning light was streaking through the trees in the woods and there is so much more, but to get back to my question: How does one paint the light beaming down yellowish white. :confused: I mean I am trying (gingerly) with a mix of clear and a dab of white and a speck of yellow and a flat brush. Any tips? Any special brushes? I would so appreciate any hints from those who are in the know. Thank you in advance.

09-16-2004, 03:57 PM
Hi Barbara,

Although I'm too new to give any advice re the actual painting, I just thought it would be worth mentioning that you may get more incisive responses if you post the original source/scene that you are trying to paint and what you have done so far.

I am sure someone here will have a great tip on how to do it... they seem a very friendly and helpful bunch!!

Good to have you at Wetcanvas btw.

Kind Regards :wave:

09-16-2004, 04:14 PM
Hi Richard,
Thank you for your response. Although the physical location is quite near my home, the scene I viewed that early Sunday a.m. now only exists in my mind. I was walking my dogs down to the pond as I do every a.m. and there is an old logging road across from the pond. There was quite a lot of mist/fog that morning but the sun was streaking down through the opening above the old road. There on the road stood a beautiful deer frozen so the dogs would not see her. The dogs did not see or smell her and I hurried them by. When we turned around and came back by she was still there silent and frozen waiting for us to pass. The light trickling down made it such a magical scene I rushed home and tried to sketch it. Unfortunately, I really don't have any drawing experience. Silly, I know, to try to be a painter without learning to draw 1st (I'm working on that). OK there is my long story - now, how to execute that light?
ps Thanks so much for the welcome - nice to meet you!

Marty C
09-16-2004, 07:29 PM
Hi Barbara,
Welcome to Wet Canvas and to the Acrylics Forum.
Without a reference photo it is tough to give any specific advice but there are some general principles which may help.
Contrast is the key to portraying light. The greater the difference between your darks and your lights, the brighter the light will appear. Generally you are limited to the brightness or brilliance of a colour ie you can't go much whiter than titanium white or lighter than say cadmium yellow light. You can however manipulate the darks down all the way to black. Some white surrounded by black can seem very bright indeed. So to have a bright ray of light you need to have the surrounding colours fairly dark in value to increase the contrast and boost the apparent brightness.
Have a look at this work I have just posted, Jolly Frog Jetty (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=216642) . The light areas are titanium white, but they are next to a dark colour, Paynes gray, so the light seems to be enhanced. Also in the sky, not too visible in this pic, are some sun rays coming through the clouds. Again, titanium white against a dark value blue/gray.
I hope this helps a little. Good luck with your work, the scene sounds wonderful.

09-17-2004, 07:23 AM
Well we can't disregard the remark about us being a friendly and helpful bunch.
So I went and found you some links that might be of help. :D
Forest light I (http://www.jonathonart.com/forl.html)
Forest light II (http://www.shadowcatcher.ca/images/galleries/g4/images/forest%20light%2066.jpg)
Forest light III (http://www.scottwork.com/lightinforest.jpg)

I'm afraid this is the best I can do for you as I have never attempted to paint such a thing myself.

09-17-2004, 09:14 AM
You guys are great!
Marty - I looked at your painting yesterday - love it! I might be trying to squeeze too much in one painting. Will post in progress pic this weekend.
DeusExMachina, Those forest light pics are exactly what I am trying to achieve. Just beautiful!!! The last pic - is it a painting?????? Looks like a photo. This is how I want to be able to paint someday..... Long way to go but I got a late start. LOL
Thank you both so much for sharing your knowledge and the reference pics!

09-17-2004, 09:43 AM
welcome to WC, bjc,

Light rays are difficult, even for those of us with some experience. here's a pic i did that was out of my imagination and Marty is right, it's all about what the rays are surrounded by. when it comes to light, I generally use light washes on top of what's already there since i feel it mimics how light crosses over shapes and shadows. i always start light and build up layers of washes so the edges look soft and gradate the rays as they come down. this example isn't the best, but might help you get the idea... i hope!


09-17-2004, 10:06 AM
Thanks "itsAllart". Your painting is wonderful -love the forest floor details as well as the light rays. Gee, could you put a deer looking back at you in there? LOL When I post mine I hope no one laughs - well, I guess I won't hear them now will I. It is only my 2nd flat painting - the others hae all been rocks as animals, houses, etc. Thank you so much for your response. I am already learning a lot here!

09-20-2004, 03:13 AM
bjcpaints: You can tell that picture #2 and #3 are photographs. The third even has some divots and damages in it, as if it's an old photograph that's been around quite a bit, then scanned and posted on the world wide web.