Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Work

Autumn Arrangement
20 x 16

As I have mentioned, I have resigned myself to painting at least a season behind what is actually happening in the Woods. My field work- drawings and color sketches- keep me busy gathering reference and ideas for finished work. As I work, I also am working on studio paintings from previous seasons. In this particular case, I am two seasons behind!

Here is the underpainting for this piece. I use a dry brush technique and keep the paint transparent at this stage. I use a cloth to wipe out lights and create the drawing of the foreground elements. This particular one was done in the studio but for a small painting like this I may do the underpainting onsite.

The challenge in this piece was to retain the atmosphere and mood, while creating more detail and drawing in the foreground elements.

Here are a few details. I used opaque mixtures to define the foliage in the foreground, keeping the shadow areas transparent.

The trees in the distance were scumbled numerous times and sky color dragged over their edges too.

The trunk of the foreground tree was done with opaque mixtures laid on in discreet strokes to mimic the bark of this hickory tree.


  1. Wow, Deborah, this is beautiful! Thanks for sharing the process and the close-up images. I'm amazed at how you've managed to show the diversity of the forms and color of the forest floor while still having it "read" so convincingly as a unified ground plane. The degree to which being a naturalist and studying everything about the Woods has been so essential for you is evident here as well. Looking at this painting makes me feel like I'm sitting in the forest when the light and atmosphere is at its most beautiful.

  2. Thank you Brian. Hope all is well with you and Kyoko!

  3. You are an admirable painter and a generous teacher, and your students are very fortunate. Well done!

  4. Thank you Donald. I have been a fan of your work for some time and was happy to find your blog recently!

  5. The foreground is stunning and unexpected! Thank you for the detailed photos - much appreciated.