Saturday, January 28, 2017
Winter Brook after a storm
This painting is not of a specific place, but it was definitely inspired by many trips into the woods in all seasons
The painting actually started as a charcoal study (see below) of spruce trees across the street after a heavy snow. This was really intended as an exercise in observation for me and I really enjoy drawing with charcoal. I wanted to capture the sense of the boughs heavily weighed down by the snow. The original sketch had three spruce trees in it and then the sketch kicked around in my studio for awhile.
On another homebound day I grabbed the sketch and started thinking about spruce stands along a winter brook. I added more trees and just a quick indication of a brook.
Next I decided to draw a color study in watercolor (9’ x 12’). This was done on very thin watercolor paper – as you can tell from how the paper buckled. I was also experimenting with different effects of light (as you can see in the background)
I then began sketching in oil directly on the canvas as can be seen below. Once the basic layout was done I was then able to focus on masses and patterns of color and light and shadows. I really enjoyed working on a large canvas. It can be easy to pick and pick at a painting and to loose spontaneity – but. working on a large canvas can be very freeing.