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  #46   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-02-2009, 04:32 PM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Patti great photos, we are collecting quite a library here to feast on.
I think I've seen this artist's work but not these. I can see why he is a favorite. The low clouds that form the mist just pull you in. And the contrast between the foreground and the horizon with the mid section dispersing light definitely something to learn from. In the second I got the impression it was dawn but when you said dust that would make perfect sense as well, and to achieve that degree of interpretation from viewers that has to be when ya know you're there.
Quote:
Now if I could just paint like this and remember what I like and why I like them when I am painting, LOL.
I think this all the time and hesitate but to be honest I think you could paint like this, I think anyone who can appreciate this, out of shear love of the art of it can take what it offers and make it part of their own. When something climbs inside of you and then you it I think that's when it explodes. Hope I'm not overstepping my bounds here but I think you could do what you see and love because you do.

Elizabeth you are way to kind to me thank you. I'm looking forward to getting started, so far I've just been a bit of a pain..haha and I hope I come up to your expectations I certainly will give it my best.

Okay I shall be still, I promise...lol when I am thoroughly drawn in I'm all over it perhaps at times a little too enthusiastic..lol but I truly appreciate you're doing this class but I'm more pleased it is in good health.

Elaine
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:33 PM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

This is going to be an interesting topic. One thing that I thought I might chime in with, since I do a mix of both photography and painting, is that photo references of trees are one of the most common situations where what you see in the photo is NOT what you would see if you were painting from nature. It's best to be aware of the problem and adjust accordingly.

As was mentioned previously, trees are often the darkest element in a scene because they have less light falling on them than other elements such as sky. This means that on a day when there's a lot of contrast due to bright sun, the trees will probably be recorded as much darker than they really are to the human eye. The value range that a digital camera sensor or slide film can interpret is about 5 f-stops. The human eye can interpret 12-14 stops on a bright day.

As an example, take one of the great photos posted earlier in this thread:



Note how the tree is almost totally reduced to black. Fortunately, Photoshop has a great tool to help fix this problem. The Shadow-Highlight tool let's you selectively brighten the shadows (or dim the highlights) to help balance out the photo. Here's how the same image looks after this adjustment:



I think that is a more accurate reflection of what you would have seen if you were standing there looking at this scene.
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:03 PM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Hi Patti! Great photos!

The first one would make a great painting, cropped a bit maybe to that the tree was more to the left. Love the cow under the tree too; it adds a bit more interest to the scene!

The second photo shows lovely balance and interesting tree foliage. I also really like the way the water is laid out and the white birds!

The palm trees in the third photo but they are beautiful and unique! I like how some of your photos have bonus element in them, like the hot air balloon! Beautiful!

The scene in the 4th photo has so much mood. Reminds me of a lazy river. Peaceful. I like the dense forest and the subtle reflections in the water. I think this would be a lovely painting, perhaps enhancing some of the colors for more impact.

Excellent example of depth in the 5th, and the pinkish purple flowers on a few of the trees adds lovely color and interest to the scene!

Nice to have a few more close-ups! The juniper berries on the 6th are wonderful, and I really like the strong contrasts.

Awesome shot of tree mushroom on bark in the last photo! Really nice textures. Great close view of the bark to the left too which might be helpful for bark studies tomorrow!

So many of these would make great paintings…if I had to choose one, I think I like the cypress forest best. A strong second though is the one with the lovely rosebud trees. Thank you SO much for sharing these and I’m happy to have you join us! By the way, the variety of photos you provided was awesome; you did good.

Elizabeth
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:11 PM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Hi Again Patti! You're so right about the way the Bierstadt handled the fading of the background into the distance. AWESOME effects! The light in this painting, as you mentioned, is also excellent! I also love the way he's varied the trees and the differences in values depending on their position.

The second is stunning! Guess it could have been named Dust at Dusk considering the rolling covered wagon in the scene! I enjoy so much views of the old west. The orange tones are very soothing here and the details amazing!

Both of these are wonderful examples of landscape mastery! Thank you so much for finding and posting them for us!

Elizabeth
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:23 PM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Elaine, Don't you dare be still! I appreciate so much your comments and I'm sure the other members do as well. Your words are both knowledgeable and motivating. It might be selfish of me but I hope you stay here with me for the entire class!

Elizabeth
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:38 PM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Hi Rick!

I'm so glad you chimed in! Your point is about the way the camera darkens is very valuable. I appreciate so much that you adjusted the willow picture for us. I wish I had Photo Shop - someday maybe.

Please jump in as often as you like and thanks again for your input!

Elizabeth
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:41 PM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

I actually do not have one instruction book re Trees!
(I thought I did)
But to discuss painters that I admire I have to go with A.Y.Jackson/Tom Tompson from the "Group of Seven." The style of art produced by any of the original members remain a favorite of mine.
See here re them;
http://www.mta.ca/faculty/arts/canad..._of_seven.html
Because a lot of their works are still under copy-right I don't think I can post them here.
I like realism in art, but I like a somewhat "looser" style when painting trees.
So I will be joining in the classes and hopefully I can learn something .
~~Kathleen
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:20 PM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Elaine you have more confidence in me than I do
I tend to keep going when I should stop and I tend to listen to my spouse because he says "It's not dark enough." What he doesn't realize is that acrylics dry darker, lol. Ahh well, I keep plugging away and hoping to get better. I think Bierstadt's painting could be dawn or dusk depending on whether they were just leaving camp or just making camp. Either way I think it is beautiful.

Rick - You are so right about photographs. I also do photography (probably not very well but I enjoy it) and I am learning to adjust pictures to show more detail in the dark areas. It is actually amazing how much detail you can retrieve, even in the clouds and other 'blown' areas.

Susan - We have a Laurel Oak in our yard that holds almost all of it's leaves until February. It does shed a few earlier but in February they start falling in earnest and within a week it goes from no leaves to new leaves. They never turn color though, they stay dark green until they are on the ground. Kinda interesting to have green all year.

What a choice of trees we have to choose from. Great pictures (and here I thought I was the only one to take pictures of trees... and clouds... and, well you know, wierd things.
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:27 PM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Here are a few tree shots from Hawaii:







And here are a couple of paintings of trees that I love:


Gaugin's "Apple Trees at l'Hermitage


Van Gogh's Olive Trees
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:32 PM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Hi Rick, I'm sorry just caught the New Member, welcome, what a treat those pictures are, one of my favorite places. I love the second one wow that would make a great painting. I was just thinking about Olive trees, I think this group is very connected..lol those are awesome.

Kathleen those are great! Patti nope just the right amount. And I just can't be quiet Elizabeth..lol I wanted to say too that here on WC there was a thread about public domain photos, I had included some in my class, so I thought might be of some interest here for trees etc., here's the link to that thread http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=472538 not like we don't have great ones but can't hurt...lol! The Copyright free photos has the nature and forest photos but in general this is a good thread to make a note of I think for lots of references.

Elaine
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:02 PM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Been 30+ years since I took art appreciation in college...sigh!! I don't recall mamy names, and I never really have had time to spend on studying other artists. Maybe if I had started painting earlier, who knows. I know I have always loved art museums, but so many places I have lived, had none, and I had no transportation to where there were some.

Anyway, I wandered around, some of the art sites...need to find better ones... and decided just to look for a few that 'said' something to me...trying to find ones not already posted or other ones by them, was interesting! These are truly not great copies of them...and I am sure that in person, these would be even more breathtaking. They copied almost too dark to see...so I tried to lighten them a bit. Should give you an idea at least.

Here are the ones I found...I want to go back if I have time to find more of their work, and study it. I hope I am able to keep up with the class...but if not, I know I will be observing.

Attachment 429954

Attachment 429955

Attachment 429956

Attachment 429957
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:11 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Thanks for the link, Kathleen! I especially like Tom Thomas's The Jack Pine. I couldn't help thinking that one of the palm tree photos shown here in this thread would look great in this style!

Since none of the demos I've put together are this loose, it would be wonderful if you took a stab at something like this;toward the end of the class I plan on having a "show and tell" where we will be sharing our past and present tree paintings and you could post your results then. Something to think about.

Elizabeth
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:25 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Rick...those are some stunning photographs! Makes me want to visit Hawaii! All of them would make absolutely lovely paintings! I'm especially drawn to the second one. I think it's because of the marvelous intertwining of the trunks and branches of the trees, the different textures and great contrasts!

I also enjoyed seeing the two selections you chose from past painters! I could see the second photo you posted done up in Gaugin's style! Great example of yet another style with your Van Gogh selection!

Thank you so much for adding these to our pool!

Elaine...thank you so much for the link to the public domain photos! You're right, it can't hurt, and too, it would be great to have bookmarked for future reference as well!

Elizabeth
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:45 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Morning Susan!

I didn't study art appreciation either so you're not alone. Probably the most enlightened I've gotten is from hanging around here !

Awesome selection of paintings by past artists! Such great height and detail in the first! The painting and those trees have such a powerful presence!

My eye was drawn to the shadows in the second. Interesting and noteworthy I thought, that they fall according to perspective. Really nice crisp style too!

For "The Autumn Oaks" I love the style and the artist's handling of color is outstanding!

One of the things that I read in John Carlson's book on landscape painting was that as a general rule, the foreground should start at about 50 feet away. Looking at your third selection, it appears Cropsey did just that. Very impressionistic, right from the foreground. Wonderful loose details and terrific distancing!

I love the mood and atmosphere in the last example, Susan. His use of targeted light really works well too!

Thank you for searching for and finding all these excellent examples for us!

Elizabeth
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:05 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Good Morning! Time to get the paints out at last!!!

I have two demonstrations on painting tree bark prepared. One is for birch and the other oak. The one for the birches also includes surface prep and foliage so I will start with that. I took lots of photos so the steps will be divided into several posts.

Painting foliage and birch bark

Here is a photo of the finished painting I will be demonstrating!



Photo reference

In this lesson, in addition to bark study, I also hope to illustrate how to bring elements in your painting (trees) closer to the viewer or further away using light and shadow. Additionally, an easy technique to create background foliage is included. Please feel free to paint along using this same reference, or use the techniques to create a painting from a photo of your choosing.

For this painting, I used a sheet of 9” x 12” canvas pad paper. You may use any support of any size. The techniques, except taping down the paper, still apply.



I started by measuring in ½” on all sides and marking with a pencil. I used 1” painters tape to secure the canvas paper to a piece of cardboard. By doing this, you will have a ½” border around your painting when you’re finished.



Once all 4 sides of the paper are taped, I run my fingernail along the edge to help seal it and prevent paint from seeping under the tape.



I begin by taking clear water and wetting the entire surface of the canvas paper using a 1” bristle brush. These brushes can be purchased at home improvement stores for under a buck!



Continued in next post.........
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