These scribbles may mark the beginning of something new. In all my painting years, this is the first landscape that I have never seen with my own eyes. At first I thought I had a beautiful dream that turned into a nightmare. A few weeks ago I saw on Dick's blog "Eye on Texel" a forest landscape that blew me away. I was mesmerized by it. I was smitten! At times, the only way to get it out of my system, is to paint it.
This looks closer to my real beginning of this painting. For the Scribble and Doodle Window I saturated the colors for fun in Photoshop.
Dick gave me his permission to paint his photo, so I was jazzed, until... I started having a closer look at the pic that hubby had enlarged for me and printed (what would I do without him:)? ). I began to wonder if I had not overestimated my ability. I muttered something about pulling my hair out.
So many details - all those ferns on the forest floor! What do I do??
Upon which hubby completely ignored my desperate state of mind, and said, "That will be a good one then." Thanks for the support, Buddy!
I calmed myself down with making a plan...and lots of positive self-talk (it's a psychological strategy I recommend to clients/patients when one is intimidated by a task and self-esteem starts spiraling down like a plane with a broken wing).
After a while the anxiety fog started clearing and I remembered that a painting is not about the details, but about the skeleton of the scene.
this is how it looked one fourth through the painting process
The tree trunks are the skeleton. To give this view a maximum of depth, I choose very light colors for the distant trees. I figured I could always darken them later.
Since the focus of this view would be the rays of the sun coming through, I outlined the sunny part, even before I started on the sky. To my surprise I saw many pink and lavender tones in the background sky.
The third step.
Now I positioned the most obvious horizontal branches of the trees. I changed a few things here and there, because it would look awkward in the painting. This is the artist's right:).
the foreground was by far the most challenging and tedious part of the painting. I don't know if I ever made use of so many Cerulean and Aqua blues, and blue-green shades. In soft pastels there are many degrees of soft- and hardness available. To have more control over the tiny fern forms, I used the hard Nu pastels for the entire lower half of this painting.
Now the sunny part was just a cinch, because in all the previous steps I prepared for this last one by constantly evaluating the values (how light or dark) as I was going. When I indicated that I was almost done, hubby said with Cocker Spaniel eyes (internat. readers: big dog eyes), "I knew it would be a good one." Don't you hate (oops, wrong word) love such people?
Forest in Spring, 11 1/2 x 17 3/4 pastel, St.Germain
I still may blur some things here and there, but is is for 99% finished.
Two important things. Art is creating something new.
So I do not recommend copying a photo when you start in art. I have painted many landscapes before in several mediums.
I know about light and shadow. For the first few years, please, get out in the open air to learn, and use photographs only as a reference.
At last, when copying from someone else's photo, please first get permission (whether it is a professional photographer or not), even when you change things in the painting, or only copy a small part.