View Full Version : Forest Aspens - DEMO

Paula Ford
10-14-2007, 12:35 AM
Hello Everybody, I thought you would all like to see how I do a fall scene. This one is a deep wooded scene with aspens. So here we go.

It is 11"x14" on Ampersand Pastelbord.

#1 - The watercolor underpainting. As you can see, I just slopped it on. I used a deep purple in the upper 3/4 and a deep green in the bottom 1/4. Why? Who knows. :lol: Seriously, I knew there would be autumn colors in this painting so I put the purple down for a complimentary color first.

#2 - The tree trunks went in with light gray and a few with a light blue Polychromos. Just pulled straight down from the top because aspens are pretty straight and about the same thickness all the way up.

#3 - Started scumbling some greens, dark oranges, and deep tan to see if a pattern would start to form to make the foliage. Sometimes it's just not planned and just kind of happens in front of me. Also started putting in some details in the tree trunks.

#4 - At this point the painting is really really in the ugly stage. Don't you just hate that? Anyway, lots more scumbling in of foliage with different colors of greens, oranges, and yellows. Also starting to establish shapes of leaves.

#5 - Starting to establish the dark sides of the tree trunks and adding lots more leaves.

#6 - Still putting in the details of the front trees with little black tick marks. The colors that are in the trunks are grays, light greens, some lavender and pinks, lots of black. For highlights on the front of the trees I used a scrumptuous light pink de Marrias which I just love.

#7 - You can still see the purple in the background which I think makes the painting a bit interesting. Still putting details on the trunks and filling in the foliage. Also, putting in a few skinny twigs here and there.

#8 - Almost done! Highlighting the leaves a bit to make them not so flat looking. My signature goes on....again, I don't know why except I just felt the need :D

#9 - Here it is! The finished painting. If you can see anything that needs attention, please let me know.


I hope you enjoyed seeing the process on this painting. It sure was fun doing this for all of you.

Next demo to come...one of the landscapes that I usually paint that will show hills and autumn trees.

:wave: Paula

David Patterson
10-14-2007, 12:53 AM
Wonderful demo Paula. Now we all know your little secrets!:evil:

Love the underpainting colors, and how they still peek through some. You are definitely the master of the fall landscapes!

I'm saving this thread for reference.


Paula Ford
10-14-2007, 01:02 AM
Thanks so much David!!

10-14-2007, 02:00 AM
Hi Paula,
a big thank you here:clap: I have foliage phobia still and seeing you progress though is a huge help for me. Your landscapes are wonderful and yet have always been a mystery to me as to how you achieve them. Your pics and commentary on this is excellent and I can't wait for the next one.
I have a question regarding the leaves, do you start by putting them in with strokes and stab the highlights or simply stroke the highlights over the top? I ask because the result is so well defined and fresh looking.
Thank you again

Jo Castillo
10-14-2007, 02:01 AM
Paula, Beautiful as always. Thanks so much for the demo.I know it takes time.


Paula Ford
10-14-2007, 02:13 AM
Thank you so much Gary! I lay down or scumble different size patches of darks and then strike with a highlight color on top to form the leaves, or I strike down darks and then strike over with highlight which makes the leaves more detailed than the first technique.

Thanks Jo!!!

Oh by the way, YES I spelled complement wrong again :lol:


10-14-2007, 02:20 AM
That's it then Paula, I need to develop a more violent streak :lol: I will try that technique for sure soon, until then, nurse!!! where's my foliage phobia tablets?.......
Thank you again

10-14-2007, 02:22 AM
Beautiful painting, love the colours. And thank you for sharing your painting process with us. It is much appreciated.

10-14-2007, 02:40 AM
GREAT Demo Paula, thanks for taking the time to do this.

Mary Brigid
10-14-2007, 08:28 AM
Paula thank you for doing this demo. Its magic....This really explains the importance of underpainting to me. I am difinetly going to give it a go. I am really looking forward to your next demo. Keep a place in the front row for me.
Thanks Paula...
Mary Brigid

10-14-2007, 08:32 AM
thanks for the awsome demo, your work is beautiful

Donna T
10-14-2007, 08:58 AM
Many thanks, Paula! Gorgeous painting! Realisitc and artistic at the same time.

Donna T

10-14-2007, 09:32 AM
Wow, Paula, Beautiful! Another absolutely gorgeous painting. Thank you for showing us how it was done. You make it look so easy!!


10-14-2007, 10:18 AM
Hey Paula, Wonderful. Thank you so much for showing how you do. I was amazed at pic 3, as I could hardly read the text above it, the trunks already created such a space I felt the letters 'danced'. (That sentence was praising the depth.)

Personally, I prefer the foliage to the left as is in picture no 8, where more of the beautiful trunks show. Only a personal pref, not a critique.

I will bookmark this, it is great to learn from someone as good as you are! Thank you,


nana b
10-14-2007, 10:41 AM
Paula, thank you for the great demo amd I am going to try it! It looks so simple:D but I know it's not! I love the finish.


10-14-2007, 11:01 AM
When's Paula going to start her "Paint Along With Paula " seminars? You are on your way to 'national' prominence! What a great teacher you will be!

Anyone care to sign up for 'lessons with Paula'?

Wonderful demo - 'bluefish' :wave:

Paula Ford
10-14-2007, 11:25 AM
Oh thank you so much everybody!!!

I do want to mention, this was not the easiest painting. It took a great deal of patience putting in all the leaves.

Starting the new demo today, a much easier scene for those of you just starting to paint landscapes.

Bluefish, thank you so much!! That is one of my dreams, to teach workshops and share the joy of making beautiful landscapes. Teaching techniques and giving artists the tools to create would be the greatest joy.

Thank you again!!!


10-14-2007, 11:49 AM
wow paula i do like your underpainting! When i got to #4 i thought it looked great! then i noticed you thought it was ugly.....hunh? i would have been happy with that....let alone the following sets to the final! Yes i look forward to more demos, good commentary telling us what you were doing and thinking

10-14-2007, 12:00 PM
Thanks for taking the time to do the demo, Paula.
You have a rare gift, thanks for sharing.
Looking forward to the next.

10-14-2007, 12:19 PM
Thanks Paula,

Great demonstration! I like the freedom in your underpainting and then use of strokes in the pastels and how it all comes together.

Thanks for sharing.


10-14-2007, 12:29 PM
Paula, thank you for the great demo amd I am going to try it! It looks so simple:D but I know it's not! I love the finish.

you know it! :thumbsup: beautiful Paula - thanks so much!

10-14-2007, 01:11 PM
Wow, Paula, Beautiful! Another absolutely gorgeous painting. Thank you for showing us how it was done. You make it look so easy!!


Ditto! This is stunning, I love the colors. The purple/blue showing in the back just gives it that extra punch. Thank you so much for showing your process!

10-14-2007, 01:15 PM
thank you Paula I also have landscape phobias...this helps!

10-14-2007, 01:15 PM
Beautiful fall painting, Paula, and a great demo. Jane

10-14-2007, 03:57 PM
Wonderful demo.

Thanks so much for going it.

10-14-2007, 04:40 PM
Thanks, Paula. I hesitate to use underpainting as well as others have mentioned. This really helps; I'll try it.

Kathryn Day
10-14-2007, 07:01 PM
Hi Paula, you are so sweet to do these demos. They are extremely helpful, informative and inspiring. Nice finish to this beautiful painting.

Charles Perera
10-14-2007, 08:33 PM

This is simply beautiful.


Paula Ford
10-14-2007, 09:49 PM
Thanks so much everybody! I truly appreciate your sweet comments.


10-15-2007, 05:30 AM
Hey Guys,
How do we get this great Demo put at the top of The Soft Pastel Studio so we can refer to it often, I think this is a very valuable and well done Demo.

Great work Paula, could you do some more as I am sure there are many of us who could benefit, that is so long as you don't mind us copying your work in order to learn.

Take Care
Love Carolynn xx :thumbsup::):heart::heart:

Paula Ford
10-15-2007, 06:04 AM
Hi Carolyn and thank you very much!

If this thread is rated it will be put in the library for reference.


10-15-2007, 10:04 AM
Great demo Paula. I have trouble with the underbrush in woodland scenes I toil on them way to much. This was a great help.


10-15-2007, 10:45 AM
What a fantastic demo, thank you so much. I am rating it and giving you whatever mentor points I can!

:clap: :clap:

10-15-2007, 11:46 AM
Great demo!! Very nice job!

10-15-2007, 01:59 PM
oh my gosh paula.... you could have stopped even at step ONE and had a beautiful painting!!! this is terrific- doing backflips here- ouch...

Karen Margulis
10-15-2007, 09:27 PM
Excellent as always Paula! Thanks for doing this as a demo, I loved seeing how you work. I had printed out a similar photo to try but after seeing yours I have to get my courage up!!


10-18-2007, 05:17 PM
grat job thanx for the wips, i learned a lot!!

Paula Ford
10-18-2007, 08:19 PM
Thank you so much everybody!! And, thank you for the 5 star rating and mentor points!!


10-19-2007, 11:44 AM
Thank you so much paula for this demo. It's beautiful! You make it look so easy, but I know that it's not.


Paula Ford
10-19-2007, 11:32 PM
Thank you Terri!!

Here is a photo of it framed. It has a bit of glare, but you get the idea :wave:


David Patterson
10-20-2007, 12:57 AM
Oh WOW...the black frame really works with this...very nice Paula!

Paula Ford
10-20-2007, 10:02 AM
David, That frame actually has a couple of red streaks around the edge that ties in with the reds in the trees. You can see it, kind of, on the right side.


David Patterson
10-20-2007, 12:22 PM
I do see it...that really ties in with the painting. I have a frame just like yours...guess I better complete another painting just for it!:D

10-20-2007, 02:03 PM
A beautiful painting Paula and a great demo. Thank you.