Into the Woods – Relief

TM9559 Into the Woods #64 7×7 oil on paper
TM9558 Into the Woods #63 7×7 oil on paper

The occasional place to sit down and take a break is always welcome. This granite outcrop with shade is perfect. Maybe a book? Maybe lunch? Enjoy.

Technical painting notes: These two views from the trail are painted on the same type of paper but with different primers. The first painting is on acrylic gesso-primed paper. You can see the brush marks along the bottom and right corner. The acrylic gives a non-porous, slick finish, which means the oil paint slips and slides on the surface when I am painting. There is a crispness to the edges.

The second, bottom painting is on shellac-primed smooth paper, which isolates the paper fibers but also gives a softer finish to the paper – more velvety. The softer overall look of the painting is a result.

Into the summer woods

TM9548 Into the Woods #61 7×7 oil on paper
TM9549 Into the Woods #62 7×7 oil on paper

Ah, the mysterious summer woods. Unlike in winter, summer’s green mantle obscures the wood’s structure and secrets. There are hints, of course. but the wall of rich greens (especially this year!) by default, becomes the real subject – and what a problem. How to mix enough varieties of green to keep the painting interesting. It’s a stretch.

But more importantly, I hope these paintings entice you to stop and linger when you are on the road. The scenery is so charming, the season so brief, and our tree heroes so in need of our support and acknowledgement.

Technical painting notes: Both paintings are on primed, smooth paper. I use a palette knife and Winsor/Newton Liquin when blocking in the dark base layer. Once the base layer is dry, I use brushes to pull out the image, then go back to using a palette knife to “smudge and soften” some areas to create depth and a little mystery.

Into the Woods

TM9385 Into the Woods 36×36 oil on panel

The drifting snow and luminous blue shadows are as much the subject of this painting as the snow-covered trees. There is a magic to the way snow spreads light. No harsh shadows here, just the absolute quiet of the woods after a storm, and the subtle interplay of blue and violet hues. Enjoy.