Magnolia Tree Nest
16x20in oil on canvas SOLD
The gallery told me that this painting could have sold several
times over. There is usually at least one painting with popular
appeal. The nest is in my daughter's back yard and when I
first saw it the tree was dormant. We had no idea that it
would be so gorgeous a couple of weeks later.
I thought I would share my process on this painting. It was quite difficult.
I hate anyone to think that I can produce paintings without any problems.
It is usually the middle of the painting where it becomes tough for me.
In this painting the dilemma became ...nest or flower in the focal area?
I did some sketches like I always do. Sorry the images are poor.
I decided to move the flowers so they would link to the nest.
I have never painted tulip magnolias before - especially in
a tree where it appears there are hundreds of them.
I had to place and group them so they would not
appear "spotty." In the shot below you can see my first attempt.
I had two areas which fought each other.
then my second attempt...it got even worse.
(Another poor image for the color)
The flowers became too dominant, especially the open one.
I added green leaves and laughed when I stepped back and
saw the bright white flower. Off with its head! I scraped it down
and painted it again with better values. Remember - white in
the shadows is a similar value to black in the light.
Then I painted a flower bud in front of it. This was an opportunity
for layering (depth) and better linkage of the different values around it.
The nest was still too separate so I thickened the tree branch
in the front of the nest, and added another branch from that one.
Then I made the buds open up a bit in front of the nest and
started to refine all the areas - especially the nest and the texture
of the tree. I did a lot of negative painting for the
background creating the thinner branches.
Hard work for the brain, but the pleasure of trying to solve the problems
is what brings me satisfaction and I forget the stage where I want to
put a razor blade through it. Speaking of that. Guess what? I do not know if
you remember the 48x36 (way back) I was having problems with?
It was the main reason I had to stop blogging for a while.
Well, I ended up putting the razor to it to stop me from
trying to save it. I will be showing that whole process in another post.