This Tree Painting is View from Carpinteria
On this trip, I’m painting a LOT of trees. Trees are good subjects when you’re trying to find the “bones”. They are such complex forms that they need to be simplified – Few of us have all day to paint, unfortunately. Yet their basic structure has to hold together. It’s important to study the Gestalt of your subject. If the structure (sketch) is wrong, the painting on top of it will not work well. Kind of like putting siding on a house that is framed out of square – the result just isn’t very appealing.
Notice the Shape of the Tree
John Carlson (Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting) talked a lot about the nature of trees. He mentioned how slow-growing trees, such as oaks, have more crooks and curls. On the other hand, faster growing trees, like the Eucalyptus tree above, are taller. They have straighter limbs. Of course, no tree ever grows straight up and down. I am learning all of this for myself – tree by tree by tree. This painting is one of my small studies, only 8×10″. My painting is a meditation on trees, and this place certainly has a lot to meditate on.
Happy painting, everyone.