This painting is a rare one for me - totally a studio painting. It has been inspired by many trips along brooks in the Maine woods, including one very close to home in Lisbon Falls.
From time to time, I'll block in the bulk of a painting in one session and then I'll let it sit for awhile. Sometimes out of sight, sometimes on the easel for further consideration while I move on to other subjects.
The original pass at the painting prevented me from going into the painting. Today's pass at the painting works better in that regard. There was also something else troubling me but I couldn't quite pick it out at the time. Then it hit me. A rookie mistake.
A common error in painting, for me at least when I started, was to think that the sky is always blue and that water is blue, trees were always green et cetera. In on location painting, the colors are right in front of you. In some cases there is no blue in the brook- it depends on the sky and surrounding vegetation. At other times, its easy to fall into the trap of painting what you think a scene should look like rather than truly observing what is in front of you.
I did a review of the many on location paitings I've done of river scenes or scenes involving water and sure enough - I had my answers.
I also came to the realization during this painting of the need to really upgrade my studio lighting. It is amazing how different paintings look in different light. I overcompensated for bright light during my first run and as a result the painting came out more muted than I'd intended. I really enjoyed painting the broken reflections in the water.
I changed some colors and a compositional element as well in this version of the painting to help lead the eye into the painting. The blue below would look different in reality, but this was a dark area of the painting that needed some spark.