Friday, December 31, 2010

The Make-Over....

Workshop Study - April 2010
"Three's a Crowd" - 9x12 - Oil on Canvas Panel 

Last April I participated in a 3-day plein air workshop led by my good friend, Jill Carver. (I'm SO in awe of her talent...that gal can really paint!)  The location was in picturesque Wimberly, Texas, about 20 miles south of Austin.  At a workshop, my primary goal is to complete lessons or tasks...with the knowledge that seldom will a good painting surface.  This adventure into the Hill Country was no exception.

On the second day we set up along a riverbank lined with Cypress trees.  Subject matter was everywhere, but 3 trees in the river with their root systems all entangled caught my eye.  There were a lot of clouds that day that changed the light and shadows as they floated by the sun.  I struggled with the light source as well as getting color, temperature and value correct. I can't remember the lesson theme, but I think it was an exercise in frustration. :-) Anyway, I came home with pages and pages of notes, several canvas studies and a resolve to work harder.

Today, after several months, I studied the painting again...and with a fresh look, I realized that it only needed a few adjustments.  Above, the workshop study is the result of a frustrating afternoon on a river bank.  The painting below is after I performed a "make-over" in the studio this afternoon.

"Three's a Crowd" - 9x12 - Oil on Canvas Panel
December 2010

I "warmed up" the Cypress and "cooled down" the background water and trees.  Using highlights and 'sparkle' in the water at lower right as a lead-in, the eye is drawn from there to the darkened foliage near the distant waterline; then upward to the "v-shape" where the trees meet the sky; and then gently moves over and down the Cypress to contemplate a tangled web of roots and soft reflections.

I like it a lot better.  What do you think?


Pam Holnback said...

Glad you took the time to look over your piece. Now you have a great one. I took a workshop from Jill in Rico in Sept. Loved it!

Douglas Clark said...

I love seeing your oil paintings. You really handled the water well and came up with a very nice composition. I look forward to seeing more of your posts.

Ricardo said...

Hi I want to congratulate you for the great work they do, I love the painting you do, the colors and tranquility that reflects very good work, greetings.