So she gets this.
This is quite similar to the previous painting, Mountain Scene, because I know when my daughter sees the other she's going to want it (she better) but she can't have it as it is destined to live its life for the foreseeable future in hallowed halls which shall remain nameless except for the initials JHU.
So she gets this.
I love some of the photos my wife took in California on my son, Silvio's land. I like the dry grass and the golden tones contrasting so readily with the trees steeped in shadow due to the sun's ever presence during the six month dry season.
Once again I find the scene clearly divided into three obvious areas: the sky, the somewhat distant mountain (it is about one to one and a half miles away) and the foreground which I'm now only indicating as grass, though there will eventually be more. The base coats here are composed of combinations of colors and not homogeneously over mixed, but mixed a bit on the painting surface. The mountain is orange and Cerulean Blue and Chrome Oxide Green. Two separate batches were mixed, one leaning toward the warm, and the other with the same colors but heavier toward the green. There is a warm and a cool version of similar colors because distance imparts a certain degree of homogeneity to all colors, i.e., they are neutralized. Foreground was a blending of Burnt Siena, Yellow Ochre, and some miscellaneous greens and violets. This seems to be more complex than a white or black surface from which to start, but I still consider this a base coat. This is ten minutes work in acrylic.
This is at four hours and at the end of the acrylic phase. I've introduced trees on the mountain and tree and vegetation in the foreground and the tree's shadow in the grass. The trees on the mountain were done first in a blue-violet, and then the sunlit areas on those trees in a neutralized green, slightly shifted to the blue for distance. That could be done with a Veridian and orange (or Cadmium Red Light) and Cerulean Blue.
In the next two illustrations, I'm working from photos recently taken on my son's land. The base coat here is divided into the four basic parts and colors that are evident: the sky, the grass in sunlight, the grass in shadow, and trees in the distance. cerulean Blue and white for sky; burnt and raw siena for the grass in sunlight, the same plus violets for grass in shadow, and black and Veridian for trees.
The completed painting.
This is a tree on my son's land in California. This is an illustration of a certain technique--not the only one available. I first painted the base sky in acrylic so I could paint over without having to wait a long time for the paint to dry. After about a half hour I painted in the whole tree in shades composed of cobalt blue, permanent green light, and burnt Sienna with black. Almost everywhere I thought there might be a leaf was painted in with these colors, even where the foliage was to be in full sunlight. That way, shadow would be available everywhere (even in full sun, there's evidence of shadow interspersed between the leaves) without having to be reapplied much. The forefront grass is just Raw Sienna.
Without waiting for anything to dry I painted into the dark wet shadow color with Lemon Yellow and a touch of Cadmium Red Light. The yellow in the lighter mixture combines with the black in the darker mixture to produce a yellow green and the Cadmium Red Light keeps it warm. This wet into wet process takes patience and a constant reapplication of fresh clean yellow as it almost at once turns to darker midtones as it picks up the shadow color beneath. This way, both the light and the intermediate shadows are developed together. The continuous reapplication of color ends up depositing a significant amount of paint on the board and can make in many places a heavy impasto of paint that is hard to manage and keep from turning to mud. The picture at left shows it after an additional four hours and takes it to a point I felt was as far as I wanted to push it in this wet on wet process before I ruined it.
Now the question becomes whether to leave it with this impromptu look or continue later when dry. I wonder which it will be. I can never stop messing with things. I'm sure to revisit this later.
Without further fanfare, here is the finished version unless I think about it much longer. It's where I ask myself whether the last day's work was worth it or if I should have left it at stage 2. I hate it when that happens.