Friday brought along another unusually beautiful day to get "out there"... and I did! With midday temperature hovering at a warm +12 C... I headed out in search of a "little smackeral" of something... other than the constant diet of houses and buildings of the past several weeks. I was determined to look for a woodland theme... something that perhaps twinned that favourite theme of mine with another... moving dark water.
Since it was going to be a short outing, I quickly decided not to spend precious daylight minutes touring about looking for the perfect scene. I headed due south three minutes on 93 Highway and hooked eastward on Ingram Road... intending to make my way past the Copeland Forest... and working my way towards "The ol' Honey Hole"... 6th Line Oro... where I knew good solid painting material existed all along the meandering oxbow Moonstone Creek.
I glanced southward for just a instant as I was cruising along... and my eye caught sight of the subject for today's 20x16 inch canvas. Emerging through the mass of trees from the Copeland Forest... was the diminished version of a much larger flowing Willow Creek further upstream.Not much more than six or seven feet across at this point... it passes under Highway 400 to merge in confluence with Moonstone Creek and the Sturgeon River... finally ending up in Georgian Bay.
There was just enough dark water and movement... in concert with the yellowing and rusty weeds and marsh growth and a maze of vertical and horizontal trees to create what I felt might make an interesting quick sketch. I even managed to find a flat concrete culvert... a perfect platform to work from... just off the road and with a high vantage point. Perfect!
I took a couple of quick reference shots to record the light and shadow... then dove headlong into setup and the painting process. I decided to use a vertical format to capitalize on the vertical strength of the composition, as well as the lovely network of lacy sky holes at the top... that broke up the horizontal massing of the mixed trees. Since I was painting on an acrylic burnt sienna toned canvas... I added darkest darks first... followed by a washed in version of the lightest lights.
I quickly chose and added in with a mixture of Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin (blackish purple) the particular trees that interested me the most... and which had the greatest compositional value for me. That done... I established the dark water element... again by staining it in. I then stepped back to analyze my plan of attack through the mid tone range.
I painted very rapidly... totally avoiding any fussiness or detail... to fill in all of the existing toned area. I accomplished that within the first hour of painting. I then took a break... did a "walk about" to get away from the painting... had a drink and looked at other things nearby. I then returned to the easel and worked my way through the "dots n' dashes".... or "push n' pull" as many refer to this process of making balances in tone and hue strength. In the last 15 minutes... I used my rigger to add a few details like twigs... rushes... reflections in the water until I felt that I has said enough.
I am pleased with the loose...painterly and not "mannered"quality of the brushwork... as well as the fall light and mood that is present in this sketch. I don't think that I'll add anything. It simply is... what was there... "A Warm Autumn Day... But With Ice Around the Edges!"
Good Painting!...to ALL!!!