Friday, June 04, 2010

Lost In The Woods


Today and for the past three days I've been painting the trees in a picture that I've been working on for over a year about a moment of realisation, Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. The trees present a problem and I'm unhappy with the results. I think there are two problems, insufficient source images that match the lighting and atmosphere of the scene, and the complexity of woodlands, which confound my normal painting method. I tend to paint things as they are, never layering for effect. I paint transparency by mixing colours not overlaying, so lots of branches present a new problem. The most elegant solution is the paint a background first and paint the branches over the top, but at what point do solid trees become spindles of branches? Painting over the top sounds too easy for me!

Anyway, the first three days have produced some attractive results and rather ethereal. I quite like the look but I'm unhappy with the spontaneous way I achieved it and my instincts tell me to experiment and repaint the picture in several different ways to work out the best way to do it. I'll return to this picture after some thought.

5 comments :

PAMO said...

Mark- I thought this was a photograph! I look forward to how you work out your ideas.

Mark Sheeky said...

Hi Pam, That IS a photograph, albeit one that I messed around with. It doesn't look real at all. I might made a clay model of a scene like that so I can light it correctly.

PAMO said...

Oh! LOL!! Well thanks for the correction! Have a wonderful weekend Mark. I guess I should read slower.

Kathy said...

I'm not an expert on painting trees, although I did an entire series on interpreting trunks and branches. However, it wasn't realistic. The only thing I figured out from that experience is that less is more when it comes to painting trees. I hope someone with more expertise can give you advice.

-Don said...

As I read your post I kept looking at the photo thinking, "this isn't the painting he's talking about, is it? It looks like a Photoshop'ed photo to me.". Whew, I'm glad to see my instincts were right...

Good luck with your painting. All I ever know to do is paint what I see. After seeing your work in the past I know your instincts are good and you'll make the right decisions.

-Don