Thursday, March 4, 2010

I can see the forest for the trees

Now that I've posted so many of my blunders I thought I would display and talk about one of my successful paintings. I know it's not an original concept but it was a commission for someone. This is a painting of Deseret Livestock Ranch in Utah-the largest ranch in the state. One of my best friends' family used to own it and I spent many happy hours riding horses there. We stayed in the little white house.

Enough of that nostalgia. After painting for many years I discovered the great attributes of a filbert brush while working on this painting. In fact I had to have several sizes. I liked the filbert so much. As you can see I had a lot of leaves to do. Two things I want to talk about here.

The first is-when you mix up your paint for the leaves don't mix it to an even color. Let little bits of different colors appear throughout. Also you can have small sparkles of light (different brightnesses). This is especially true for leaves in the foreground. Also, grass and whatever you paint that is alive. It can apply to other things but today I'm really talking about leaves. So, when you apply the paint let the different colors peak out somewhat. It adds life to the painting.

The second is-try to hold your brush as loosely as possible and stand back. In fact-way back if you can. You can attach a stick to the end of the brush and get very far away. If you are close and tight you won't be able to see the leaves for the trees (get it-like the forest, etc.-too close and involved when you should relax and detach some). You might want to get tight on a few leaves that are really close to give more of a feeling for what kind of tree this is but not necessarily.

Okay. Go out and pick your switch-I mean stick.


  1. Painting is one thing I just cannot do. I guess I spent all my time in the crafting line in heaven. Very prett Julie! 80)

  2. Not so fast, Emily. You might have hidden talent. I bet I could teach you how. It's just a discipline like anything else and all you need to do is learn the methods and practice practice practice.