Sunday, March 6, 2011

More on Ammonite Falls





I worked on my Ammonite (Benson Creek) Falls picture for a couple of hours yesterday and a couple of hours today. I changed the shape of the road and put more pink and gold into the sky. I started to work on the tops of the Douglas firs - the hardest part for me. I find it really challenging to envision how the fir branches should look when they are painted. Emily Carr blends the branches together into rolling sheets or green teepees - but that's not how they look to me. She does a wonderful job on tree sillouettes - but this painting is not about sillouettes. Other painters show the individual branches - but that doesn't seem right either. At this pint mine are separate branches. I need to experiment - based on looking at real firs -we have many in our garden - and the firs in the photo. Maybe I can find another painter to inspire/inform me.

I also redid the fir trunks - partly to show more clearly which ones show up as having light coloured bark and which ones are in silouette - and partly to get the tops of the trees to line up with the bottom of the tree trunks. I was quite surprised by how far out the bottoms were - and had to change a lot of them. I am still really working on shapes and not colours - so my mauve mistiness between the tree trunks is not the final colour - though not too far off. I also worked on the shrubbery beside the road. By the time I got to working on it, I was much freer and less worried about making them correct. I think they look really good in the photo - but probably not as good in the painting. I will have another good look - to see how they are turning out. The shrubbery on the left is salal, dead bracken and small firs. The main shrub n the right is a young leafy arbutus. It is not at all like the first arbutus I painted.

We took our new cocker spaniel Lexy out on our boat for the first time today - and walked 10 km around Newcastle Island. I took lots of photos - the best being of the Harmac Mill and Dodd Narrows, the ferry coming across the Strait (from Giovandi Lookout,) and boats in Newcastle Channel. I have already done paintings of the mill and channel - but I think these photos will allow me to do others - sort of variations on a theme.

Dodd Narrow and the Mill. Grea sky and water. Strange smoke on Gabriola Island.

Ferry coming across the strait. Looks like a postcard for BC Ferries. Too bad you can't see Bowen Island. Maybe I can fake it.


Fabulous boats and buildings. It will be worth the struggle to get them right.

Question: Why do I want to paint these scenes when I already have pretty nice photos? It's fun I suppose. You really get to know a scene better when you try to paint it.

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