Saturday, February 13, 2010

In the Hollow

Looking across the hollow at the fallen trees from last year's ice storm.

I have always loved snow - to take a woodland walk in virgin snow feeds my soul, so I-for-one was glad for the small amount we received.  It's strange how the snows began exactly one year after the devastating ice storm of last year.   A group of small young bucks along with a doe or two have been passing through, proudly strutting their two-point racks, but I've yet to catch them with my camera.

I painted the scene below Thursday morning en plein air. After about an hour, I had to return to the house (which was very close by, just up the slope) to let my feet thaw out and to dry the watercolor paper. It just would not dry in the cold air. Then I returned to the site and finished painting it. I knew it was not a keeper, but was determined to follow through with the experience.  I then returned to the studio, and after seeing that there was no saving such a pitiful painting, pulled up this photo (which I try to always take for reference when painting on site) on my computer monitor.

My view for the painting.
I then flipped over the painting and re-taped it to my gatorboard, and started again.  I was using Sanders Waterford BTW, which personally, I'm not crazy about, although, as some artists claim, it doesn't seem to buckle as much as other brands.  The unfinished result is below.   I'm not after pretty colors and reflections on the snow, but a moody, dark woodsy effect, so I probably could have used even less warm colors and gotten closer to the mood I'm after.  I just kept glazing the background over and over with blues to get the needed value, but now probably need to go a shade darker with the middle-ground, right?  Snow scenes are so easy to mess up in watercolor!
My painting in progress...

So far, I'm pleased with this one, as I think I'm ever-so-slightly getting closer to being able to portray the deep woods the way I want.  Like I did when I painted the pines.  It has been my biggest struggle (or should I say 'goal', as there are way too many struggles to list) since going back to watercolor.

Now, I'm sure your asking, "hey, where's your original plein air so I can compare?"  Well  (conveniently) it's on the reverse side of this painting, taped to the gatorboard!  But believe me, it was bad.  I'll let you know how this second attempt comes out (or maybe not, depending how much I mess this one up).  Here's to learning...

Yep, I've changed my blog background yet again (the pains of being a Gemini). Gone to the dark side, gettin' serious here...


Bruce Sherman said...

Hi Rebecca!... A very creditable woodland study! Very warm and inviting! Nothing I love better... and it seems that we share this in common... is to get out into this sanctuary... away from the din!

Enjoyed my visit... and will drop back again to see how that watercolour adventure is proceeding!

Good luck... and Good painting!
Bruce Sherman

Rebecca J. Dunn said...

Thanks so much, Bruce. I enjoy your blog site also, you do really nice work. I've tweaked this painting a little since posting it, but think I should leave well enough alone before I cross that line of 'no return'. I'll post it soon to let people know how it went. Thanks for stopping by!
Becky Dunn

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