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"Seven Layers of Spring"  16 x 20 watercolor on paper California Art Club 107th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition at the  Natural...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Plein Air Watercolor "Golden Oak"

Golden Oak 14 x 14
You've probably noticed I am pulling back from my usual bright colors as I am learning about what makes a good tree portrait. The nature of depicting trees is that what you choose to paint and what you choose to leave in really makes or breaks a painting. The leaves make it very busy if you don't figure out how to simplify them.One idea that has helped me is to think of the trees in terms of the gesture they make with the trunks and branches. What is it doing? This was sort of implied in my last post where I titled the painting " Tree Pose".

This oak was leaning over the hill and I liked how the branches to the right were reaching down. This was also less than five miles from my house, I am painting very locally this fall.

Update :Katherine Tyrrell did a nice write up about this painting on her blog Art of the Landscape". She's writing a series on Autumn Paintings that is a great primer on how to paint trees. I've been following it and enjoying it very much. http://art-landscape.blogspot.com/2011/11/golden-oak-autumn-landscape-7.html
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