Friday, April 28, 2017

At the edge of the forest

For my final painting I used a photo I had previously taken of a small rock building at JCCFS.  I love the multicolored rocks in the building and the contrast of the shadowed deep woods and open area around the building.  Part of the class discussion, was about narrative.  How do we convey a story through our paintings.  This painting tells a story of living on the edge; between the beauty and unknown of the deep green forest and the structured world humans construct.

To create the deep green shadowed forest. I masked the trees on the forest edge.  I used a small masking fluid container that had a thin tube applicator, which I thought would make it easier to apply.  But it wasn't as easy as I expected.  The tree trunks were large and I needed to use a masking brush to cover them effectively.  The branches were smaller, but where the branches and trunks met I had problems controlling the fluid, causing blobs.  This was the first time I had used this type of masking application.  In retrospect I should have done some testing and had a well thought out plan for my application.

After the masking was completely dry, I wet the paper and used saturated pigments to create the vibrant dark green depths and light in the forest.  While the paper was still wet I used the side of a credit card to scratch in branches.  Scratching the wet paper let the pigments penetrate and create dark lines.  This worked very well, but next time I will try to vary the size of the scratches to imitate the change in branch size more accurately.

I carefully removed any excess paint from the masked areas.  This is an important step to keep unwanted pigment from accidentally getting on other parts of the painting.  I proceeded to paint the light green lawn and rock house in the foreground.  I enjoyed painting the multicolored rocks and distressed wood of the shed.

Now It was now time to remove the masking fluid and paint the trees.  Once the trees were painted I added in darker shadows on the lawn and rock house.  The final addition was the red bird house at the upper left.  The addition of that bird house changes the feel of the painting.

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