Painting 1 – WOODS AT WISLEY



For the first painting I wanted to work with the idea of ‘trees in the landscape’ and so I spent some time on composition studies in my sketchbook. The image I decided on was of a stump of a tree which is sending out wonderful vertical shoots of new growth.

The studies are mainly focused on colour ideas. It took me some time to get the composition right and I did several studies which didn’t satisfy. So I cut out the bits which didn’t work for me and kept the sections which said something. This was interesting to do (…once I would just have binned the whole painting!) In doing this I found that new ideas for composition arose.

A problem I kept finding was the loss of colour intensity as the painting dried. I love colour and wanted to express this in the image but I kept getting a very pale result. I wonder if this is because of the number of washes.

The final painting is mixed media – watercolour, pen and ink, soft pastels and acrylic paint. I like the combination of the different media, particularly the look of the watercolour showing through the pastel. The picture has the ruggedness I was wanting and I like the colour scheme. The only section I’m not sure about is the foreground with the stump…perhaps the white is too strong?? Also, I think I should have brought in some strong texture there…it is an ideal area for it and would have added contrast. To some degree, the white acrylic sticks suggest texture.


About pbfarrar

I am an Australian living permanently in England. I have recently retired from the position of Principal of an independent school and have taken up the study of Fine Art with the OCA.
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