I've sketched out a new series of trees to work on. They will have a common theme of 1, 2 or 3 trees (mostly 2) against a swirly sky. I intend to keep a consistency while exploring variations on that theme. Excited! Need to first finish a half dozen paintings that are already in production.
Working in my happy place. A happy grove of a tree trio, that is. Last time I tried this image, I liked the composition but screwed around too much with the tree leaves. Not fully successful so I bagged it. Trying another round!
I've been picking at this painting again since I rented my studio space. Working on a 3 x 4 foot painting was tough in my little attic space at home. Here's the stage that I posted last year. Now I'm adding the green leaf canopy. The long haul is that I have to wait for the super thick paint dabs to dry before I can add another layer, and can take weeks!
Making more progress on my two swirly trees. I've finished the roots and am adding leaves. It's a slow process because the big dabs of green need to dry before I add new layers. Here's the previous stage in March.
March 21st has passed in a blur — and swirl — of browns and green. I've jumped back into my second Big Swirl painting and finished painting the branches. Raw sienna, burnt sienna and indian red plus peach, beige, pale yellow, white and a bit of orange. Casually mix-mastering the colors while listening to my new favorite sci-fi book epic, Hyperion. Here's how the painting looked in December.
Well happy birthday to me! I am pretty darn pleased with how this painting is emerging. Huzzah. Stayed away from it for a few months, partly because I've been busy and partly because I needed time to rethink the thick dark lines that poured initially from my brush. Going through the entire tree and painting thicker fills over the outlines. Here's the way it looked in late December.
There are a whole lotta swirls goin' on, so I'm going to rename this piece Twisted Tree. Not super original but you can see it above the forrest.
I worked on this painting-on-paper last Spring, but put it aside because I didn't feel it was working. Painting on canvas made me realize the missing element was contrast. So I added dark lines between the blue swirls and the piece came together.
One more pass on the grass and leaves—once the current layer dries—and I'll call this done.
Next stage of my small canvas painting. I've decided to try a different kind of tree by painting a silhouette instead of colored branches. Here's the white underpainting, and here's what it looked like in the pure-swirl stage.
I've been working on both 36x48" canvases, and here are the results.
Here's Big Swirls #1, now with a layer of green grass. Yay! Previous stage is here.
And here's Big Swirl #2, with more subtle shades of blue. Still not fully digging this piece but I have some ideas for improvement.
The next stage of Big Swirls 2. I'm not too keen about how it's turning out. The lines of the tree feel too bold and I think that I positioned the tree too close to the foreground. This approach of sky first, tree second feels less organic than tree first, sky second. But I'll see it through to the end and play and learn. Here's the earlier stage.