View Full Version : Bronte Creek-Partial Thawing

02-03-2005, 11:26 PM

Title: Bronte Creek-Partial Thawing
Year Created: 2005
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 20x24
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is Bronte Creek in Oakville Ontario about a week ago, on a nice sunny winter day. I didn't do it en plein aire, but I did spend some time there noting colours, and taking photos-so perhaps a compromise between plein aire and just using someone else's ref. photo. We don't get many sunny days in the winter, but when we do, it's quite beautiful. Thought it would be interesting to try and paint ice.

1. If not for my title, could you tell there is some ice and some running water?

2. Before anyone suggests more "sky holes-this creek is in a valley, and from this perspective there are more trees and then hillsides behind the trees-however-if you think I needed more sky holes anyway-let me have it!

3. Any other c&c. Thanks

02-04-2005, 02:09 AM
Hi Jon, Its really lovely. Breautiful lighting.
Hi can absolutely see ice and running wate...almost hear it cracking and running...Very very good. :D No, I really love the sky...no holes needed.

02-04-2005, 04:56 AM
Hi Jon - you have the lighting here very nicely, that slightly yellow winter light, with blue shadows on the snow, which reads well as undulating on the left, and higher than the ice/water surface of the stream -so in answer to your question - yes, one can tell you have ice and running water.

The thing here which is a bit jarring are the branching patterns of the tree-limbs - generally tree branches gradually narrow peripherally, and branching patterns obey some sort of general ordering as to typical distances and angles (think of the branching pattern you see as being the result of a developmental process :cool: )


02-04-2005, 11:48 AM
lovely painting!

I think the water looks fine...cold!!!

The tree branches disturb my view a bit on the left and the ones on the right seem too think



02-04-2005, 01:43 PM
Thanks all-I'm going to work on this some more-especially my trees.

02-04-2005, 01:57 PM
Hey Moosehead - yes I see running water under the ice.Good snow and tree shadows. The one thing I might introduce is some dark greens into the water. Around here our frozen streams seem to have a lot of hookers green and even paynes gray shades to them. Some of those smokey tones you have in the far distant trees would be good.

I was having a problem with my tree branches looking like logs in the sky and got some good advice from Wes Hyde as to how he paints his branches - which always look good. Maybe he'll share here? :cat:

I think a little shadow work on that mound of snow on the right bend in the river (just below the ochre shrubs) would be good.

Nice cold sunny day!

02-04-2005, 03:21 PM
All is well !!!!!!!!!
Agree a about the tree branches as they do attract a lot of attention ... away from the snow, water and ice :wink2:

02-04-2005, 03:43 PM
Aside of the branches the painting is really lovely.

(Branches are too regular, too dark and too many.)

I love the water!

02-04-2005, 09:58 PM
Hi, Jon! I like the looseness of this application and the palette! Agree about the previous crits and would really like to see the revision!

02-04-2005, 11:51 PM
Thanks all for looking. I am pretty happy with the ground and river, and my concerns were also with the foreground trees (an also, now that I've posted, I agree about that one mound of snow you mentioned, Spyderbabe).

Time to break out the chainsaw and clean up some limbs, like a true Canadian lumberjack :D !

02-05-2005, 12:03 AM
The water and snow is really good. Okay, heres a cheap trick, after getting the background in and lightly sketching the tree branches, turn the painting upside down and use a long haired thin brush, well loaded with paint to get the branches. The long hair is easier to get a tapered line with. It's important to get the paint flowing from the brush, a mix of terp and oil with the paint works well. Turning the painting upside down lets you get the background in first and keeps your hand out of the painting while placing the small branches near the tree tops.


02-05-2005, 06:21 AM
The water is leading my eye out of the painting in the lower right. When I force my eye back there is nothing to see ( another water going behind some bushes). Hope this is useful ;)

02-09-2005, 09:28 PM


02-09-2005, 09:37 PM
Wow- I had not noticed the subtle colors before in the thaw!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

(You are pretty handy with a chainsaw!!!)

02-09-2005, 09:49 PM
Hey Jon, what's that photo of the younger Bruce Willis doing on your avatar?

Ok the branches are not easy, but the tree bark looks very good to me. You are moving on nicely, with the crits made already.


02-10-2005, 10:33 AM
Thanks Stella and Mikey. I'm not where I want to be yet, but I've mucked around with this one long enough. On to the next. I do believe I learn something with each one-so that's helpful.

Mikey-that's a photo of me during my recent trip to Cuba-reminds me of the warmth as I endure the freezing temperatures in Canada.

02-10-2005, 06:21 PM
Hi Moosehead, (what a cool name, especially on a hot summer day!)

Anyways, I know I'm very late (one whole week) but still wanted to give my little opinion here.
First of all, I love those scenes and you have a good eye for them. I am happy you fixed the shadow in the background because I found it spooky :D

Also thoses branches are looking better.

Don't we have a beautiful country ?

Keep up the good work. I can tell you are having a blast. :D

Linda :wave: