Every attempt is about learning and improving

Posted Sep 4, 2023


This morning I got up and headed over to the river, this pretty river is just down the road from where I live.  Every time out I'm trying to learn and get better.  For this one, the goal was to simplify.  I've been so inspired by several paintings I've seen other artists do recently, and I really want to learn to get better at creating simple masses, large shapes, working with large brushes and adding in spots of detail later on, at the end.  It's a real challenge to capture evergreen trees, unless you leave it as simple shapes, and just indicate what's happening very loose.

And this rock field -- the plan was to keep it simple. Lose most of the detail, but play with the interaction at the water's edge so that it makes sense to the eye what we're dealing with.  I had visited this spot a couple days ago, on a morning run.  The sun was just coming up, and the light was so pretty. Of course today it ended up being cloudy, but really that was probably for the best, because I think the elusive morning light would have frustrated me as I tried to capture it.  Overcast might seem a bit boring, but there's plenty to work with here, and it does help to keep the light consistent.

I pushed the trees back into the atmosphere more than they really were.. but I don't mind that.  My biggest struggle here was the sky and light reflected near the bottom left of the image. I worked that over a little too much probably.  I got a bit stuck here because I don't think I made my trees as large as they are in reality, which is fine, but that also throws off the reflections in the water..  I didn't really think about that until I got into the water and started to look at what was really happening there.  But that time it was a little late to try to adjust it.  I suppose I could have made my trees taller, but I like where they were on my panel.  Like I said, I'm learning and getting better from each one. 


painting from life on the river