Hello all. I'm already behind on posting my sketches. But I've been very busy with other exciting things like making some business decisions. On with the art, though!
I did this little painting last Thursday, 9/11/08. It was a busy day. It would have been easy to find an excuse not to go out and sketch. But what a gorgeous day it was! So I made myself just go somewhere and see what I could see. I went to Swasey Parkway, which is a little walkway and auto road along the Squamscott River in the downtown area of Exeter. Both sides of the river have a section to walk along leading out of downtown. On various occasions I have seen all kinds of birds, turtles, fish and even a river otter. It also offers terrific views of the backside of downtown Exeter.
On this day I chose a tree. Not surprising. Trees have always been one of my favorite subjects to draw. This one is some kind of maple. It has very dark reddish-brown leaves that glow with an orangey light when the sun goes through them. My objective was to get to the color with my paints. Although I did not achieve quite the darkness that the shadowed side had, I like the end result that I cam up with. It was quite a tricky thing, trying to match the colors that I saw. My first attempt fell way short. I was mixing the wrong kind of greens and reds to make the dark reds. And the glowing orange color completely escaped me. It was a dull yet brilliant orange from sunlight passing through the leaves. I think I was using too much red.
I began by trying to identify what the base color is...red. Then I had to figure out from there which of my reds to use...the warm or the cool red? I went with the warm red. Of course, mixing it with green will go to a brown, depending on the percent of each pigment. What I wanted was to darken my red with it's opposite but not loose a sense of "red" in the color. It's amazing, when implementing this theory, how far you can push a color before loosing it completely. After lots of mixing and testing and not coming up with a reasonable match, I realized that I was probably using the wrong red. So I switched to the cool red and viola! I came up with a very happy color almost immediately. The orange color for the illuminated leaves was far trickier. After about an hour-and-a-half of working on this piece, I decided to be happy with what I had done.
So, in the end, I have a lively tree with real nice coloring but no illumination. What do you think?
By the way, I learned yesterday that I did not receive the grant I applied for. Nonetheless, I am carrying on with some of the elements from my grant application. Life is good.