Saturday, July 25, 2015

Trees and Reflections

                            22" X 30"  - "Quiet Cove"

Once again the problem of being bold with dark values came into play.  I put down the wet-into-wet areas, then came forward with the light background trees, then the darker tree silhouettes, and finally the major trees in the foreground.  The shaded sides of the two trees on the left required a dark value on the left side and some cast shadows of different colors falling on the main trunks.  The values in the reflection also demanded some darks.  The problem is that some students are a bit timid about the darks, and again, don't have enough paint to create them. 

The clue is to place the midtones first so that the darks won't be so jarring.  Look at the highlighted part of the water and then look at the gradual approach to that area.  Putting down a dark value in a very light area is always scary because the contrast is too extreme.  Leading into a highlighted area by laying down a midtone gives you a chance to gradate to the highlight.

Also, with reflections;  be careful not to make a straight line mirror image of the object casting the reflection.  No matter how calm the water, there is still going to be some wiggle to the reflection.

A quick reminder:  My annual Maine workshop will be held from August 24th - 28th.  Tuition is still $400 for the full week.  Some openings for the first three days remain.  For a supply list or more information, email me at

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