Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sycamore In Front of Storm Cloud

My community has the most lovely collection of street trees.  There are sycamores, oaks, maples, tulip poplars, and more.  (And, ash.  The ash are sad, since many of them look stressed, or dying because of the emerald ash borer.)  Many of the trees are mature, which means in the summer, it's like a huge green tunnel with dapples.

When a storm comes in, and the darks and lights of the sky frame the trees, it's beautiful  I tried to paint a street sycamore against a storm front--seen last week, which was an unusually wet and cool June week for Cincinnati.  I wanted to capture the flat blue against the way the leaves of the sycamore were lighting up.

I wish I could say every painting was successful.  Not true.  The first cut, below, ended up too stilted.  My shapes are not working, and there are too many hard edges.  (bottom pic)

I went back, and tried to fix the edges and adjust the crown of the tree, but that didn't necessarily help.  So, I'm going with a tried and true solution, and cropping the painting down.  (top pic)

 It's on Fabriano 300 lb rough paper, using prusian blue, manganese blue hue, and the quinacridone burnt orange, gold, and red.  The original size is about 20x21 inches and the cropped size is 16x20 ish.

As a side note, this is one of those paintings with a lot of stacked blues--it's hard to get the photo to look like the painting.

I think I'll try painting this one again.