Woodland Stream, first steps

Woodland Stream

This painting is a bit tricky for a number of reasons. Firstly, there are several planes, like steps, which need to be illustrated without the mechanical structures seen in a flight of steps, for example. In other words, if you are drawing steps and your drawing has the shapes and angles of steps, the viewer will immediately know what you are saying. Steps, in nature, are suggested by clues in the landscape. The more subtle the suggestions the more intriguing the painting. I am preparing the video of the painting process of Woodland Stream. You will see, at the drawing stage, the planes are planned like steps and the structure of the landscape is ‘hung’ on this structure.

Secondly, the painting is small (about 8″x12″) and trying to achieve the smooth surface of water between rocks and an irregular edge is difficult with a small brush. You need to ‘swipe’ the paint which is already in place with a large long bristled brush to create the ‘glassy’ skin on the water’s surface. So I painted this first and the rocks, etc. later on.

Just another point regarding landscapes in general. If when planning a landscape, you create a ‘journey’, you will entice the viewer to subconsciously travel this path. A way in, a route to follow, and a way out. You engage the viewer and and he/she will return again to experience this journey. As discussed in a previous post, you will rarely see such a sight in the real world which also has composition, balance, colour harmony and all the other features which makes a scene a good painting. The ‘real world’ has to be twisted and bent to achieve these ends.


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