Tuesday 5 March 2013

Tree Studies

At the most recent Avon Valley Artists meeting the subject was `Trees'. Once again I failed to take my camera so can not show other members paintings. However prior to the meeting I decided to do some tree studies, an attempt to try new things and improve an area of weakness. The first two were painted in my `studio' and the other two at the AVA Thursday session. 

This was No.1 - the left hand one based on a photograph 

No.2 Again based on a photograph

No.3 from my imagination

No.4 again imaginary

The first was more orthodox as far as the left hand tree is concerned but I varied the colours and let them run together.

The second one was an attempt to achieve a more textural result with spattering and sponges brought into play.

The third study involved the use of very strong colour - which I let run riot - in the trio of trees at the front. There are reds, blues and oranges with the background trees reduced in intensity.

The 4th and final one (for the moment) was purely imaginary using Transparent Orange (Schminke PO71) and Turquoise (Lukas PB16)  as strong colourful contrasts in the trunk. The foliage was blues and greens  with water first spattered on to give a blurred effect. 

I used my normal brushes but included a Rosemary Moongoose fan brush for both foliage and ground in Nos 3 & 4.

None took very long 20 -30 mins, No.1 slightly longer, but the one I like the best, number 4, the least of all at 10 -15 minutes.


ann @ studiohyde said...

I have the same issue with trees. Good idea to work at them. Have to say I really like No. 1 the left hand tree, it's the strength of colour and looseness that appeals to me, shows great confidence in your work.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for commenting Ann. I'm not happy with the orthodox way of painting trees but haven't (yet) come up with an alternative I'm comfortable with. I do like the way Gerda Mertens the Belgian artist portrays trees.

Ray Maclachlan Art said...

I really like No.4 Peter. Wonderful colours and expressive foliage. You have a vivid imagination.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for comments Ray. Actually I tend to get my inspiration from others. The tree paintings I really like are those of the Belgian Artist Gerda Mertens. There are others I like but I'm not a great fan of the conventional British Landscape style.

Oscar Solis said...

I really like these trees. They feel wild, even those based on photographs. The one thing I have found about trees is that as long as it's recognizable as a tree (even loosely drawn), one can be free with the colors.

Man, now I feel like painting trees :)

One thing, You mention Gerda Mertens. Wonderful trees from what I've seen. Have you ever heard of Joseph Stoddard? He paints trees in a loose and brilliant manner. I never get tired of looking at the foliage in his paintings. You can find one of them here:


Now to start painting those trees.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for commenting Oscar. I did a piece on Gerda Mertens with photos of her trees, not sure whether it was in 2011 or 2012 so it's there somewhere on the blog. I'm trying to become more adventurous with colours on all subjects.

I've not heard of Joseph Stoddard so I'll definitely look him up. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Enjoyable images and great experimentation. Number 1 for me.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Mick. Interesting how tastes vary. I've been thinking about doing a piece on how different artists paint trees. Having slight difficulty in finding the right images though.