Saturday, 17 September 2011

Dappled light, Tree Number 1, Oil on Board 8in x 10in

I have a huge affinity with woods and feel comfortable and right when surrounded by trees, particularly when they are beside water. Trees are awesome and magnificent. Walking through leafy tunnels with sunlight streaming through the branches casting ever changing rays and shadows and pools of light sliding over the bark and the paths can be a moving experience. It is a feast, and one that should be indulged in daily. (There's a big hill going into my nearest wood, and sometimes I go on my bike, just for the thrill of the hill. ahem. Then have to go back later with the dog for a walk...)

So I have always known that I would have to paint trees. Here goes. Daunting when its a subject you respect so much. Here is my first attempt at portraying light in the wood. What I am interested in acheiving is not a highly finished image, so I consider this, and the next few that I try, to be Drawings. I'm working something out...

 ...I want to Explain the shapes of the trees by using the dappled light. But at the same time, I want the visual complicatedness, the confusion caused in the way the light licks over the tree, to remain. Those two aims are a contradiction - explain and confuse. As an illustrator, it is my instinct to visually unravel confusion and present an image in a clearer form.  I am trying not to do that.

I wanted to leave the foliage in the background loose. But couldn't bring myself to leave it alone, I had to keep fiddling. TSK. We'll see how I go with the next drawing...

Sometimes I stand watching the dapples move, like a private movie being screened just for me, a light performance. It's an amazing sight, sometimes it moves gently and carefully, other times quickly, like the light is liquid, running around the branches and trunk in a caress. It might last only seconds before diffusing and disappearing, so well worth stopping, or glancing up from your Teddy Bear Picnic.

Next up Portrait Drawing Workshop, Monthly Monday and weekly classes kicks off. The next Portfolio Course is at Half Term.

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NOTE: Please do not copy this work. (don't even assume this is the Way To Do It - this is just the way I did it, this time) There are loads of wonderful trees out there, this one is mine. Part of your creative process is... finding your own tree.

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