Thursday, December 5, 2013

#4: Foggy Winter Day

I attended my second lesson at the local Michael's. The instructor offered more instruction this time, and had us follow her, step-by-step, through the creation of the painting. She had a finished example of the painting on each table, which I found nice to use to get an idea of where we were going. However, the instructor did not follow the same techniques in painting the trees in the painting she modeled. The painting on our table had more detail. It was interesting to see two different styles and I'm actually not sure which finished painting I prefer. You can see that my 'ghost' trees, those in the fog, depict both styles. I did my first tree, the one on the left, adding the details I saw in the example on our table. I got ahead of the instructor, and misjudged what she wanted us to do.

8" X 10" canvas panel

What I like about the painting:
  • I was pleased with the blending of the purple fog with the sky, and with the blending of the colors in the sky. I used the technique Schaefer demonstrated in his video.
What I might do differently:
  • I don't particularly care for the empty space behind the ghost trees, nor the sudden transition to colorful trees. 
  • I really don't care for the stream. I am thinking a stream in a winter scene such as this, would not be blue. If it were frozen, it would be covered by snow. If it weren't frozen, it would be very dark, and added details of rocks, with or without snow would add some interest.
  • I totally misplaced the bird. (Did you even notice the bird?!) First, he needs to be perched on top of the branch. Second, I feel that he gets rather lost in the tree behind him. I don't recall if the instructor's middle tree was placed that way, or not. Also, he is right in the middle. He should have been off of the center line.
  • I would take more care painting the bare tree. Some of my branches were too thick. I corrected much of this by making the entire tree larger, but there are still some branches that could stand to go on a diet.
What I learned:
  • We used light purple tick marks to identify the center lines of the canvas so we could be sure to place elements off center. We lightly drew in the lines of the horizon and the fog lines.
  • The instructor let me use her filbert brush for the trees. I liked the rounded edge. It was also used to make the grass clumps. 
  • I need to be more purposeful about sizing and placing objects if I am 'copying' another painting. The instructor's canvas was larger and somehow my trees ended up being the same size as her's and thus ended up too close to one another, or running off the canvas. 
  • I am too sparing with my paint, in all ways. I need to put out larger blobs of colors I know will be used a lot. In this painting, blue and white, followed by red. 
  • I need to mix larger amounts of paint - I kept running out of colors and had the added hassle of trying to replicate the color.


  1. Hi Dreaming! I am enjoying your painting series so much! I think that you are very honest and brave to put your art as you learn out into the world. And I love your analysis of your process! My Uncle Kelsey used tons of paint ~ he worked in oils, and it was often think on his canvas. I also love that you are just going for it. My mother worked with watercolors for years and was very careful. I wanted her just to go for it and not be so worried about it being exactly right. I have a watercolor she did for me of Double Arches in Arches National Park ~ It was a very special place for both of us. I know a lot of frustrated tears went into that painting, but I treasure it! I can't wait to see more of your artistic journey!

    1. Fundy, thanks so much for the supportive comment. I am really enjoying this process and putting it out there and discussing it helps me see where I want to go next.
      I know that one should never say, "Never"... but I don't think I will ever try water colors, they are too unforgiving! At least with the acrylics, I can paint over it... and over it again... and again if need be!!