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I recently painted this large Spring forest on a big wooden panel 48x36" (122x91cm)
It's been over 20 years since I've painted on wood. My first paintings were always on wood but over the years I've just stuck with canvas. I love getting out of my comfort zone. As an artist, I think this is imperative for growth.
This wooden panel from Jacksonart was heavy approx. 15kg and manoeuvring it in the studio was a challenge.
Sometimes when painting I take photos of the artwork in progress this helps see it differently and I also like to flip it on my phone and view a mirror image of it. This helps balance any aspects that don't look right.
I painted this to enter in a local art competition at the Oriel Lliw Gallery, Pontardawe Art Centre,
Before painting I sketch out ideas and then draw a rough outline on the canvas. Sometimes when I paint I have an instinct to change something, which I follow. Initially this was going to be a single oak tree in a forest, which I ended up scrapping off before it dried, because while outside in a forest getting inspiration I saw these two trees growing slightly apart and I had to go back to the studio and change it.
In the first step I've got the basic colours in the landscape. Blocking large areas like this helps build the painting. I also build-up the texture of the front trees this ends up being about an inch thick, so you can feel the bark on the tree.
In Step 2 I've built up perspective on the trees and added a shadow giving them a place to stand. I also changed the path slightly.
In step 3 I've added green and starting to bring some life into the painting. It's a beautiful Spring morning and I want freshness and light in it.
In step 4 I've built up the foliage and flowers into the painting. Bluebells and yellow flowers. I've added colour to the forest path and brightened the sun shining in the background between the trees. The trees have been built up with texture and I've put a whole in the top of the tree to give you an idea of size and texture you can stick your finger in this hole. I like to think this is a place for a nest for squirrels or perhaps a bird’s nest.
In step 5 I carry on building the flowers and the leaves on the trees. The bark I've painting with some gold to bring out the texture.
In step 5 I've added texture to the path. Painted pretty foxgloves and built up the bluebells and yellow flowers. I’ve added a sapling in the painting and I’ve climbing up the tree on the right. I've put some sun rays in the background and some extra shadowy foliage in the background of the left.
As soon as this was dry it was hung in the exhibition and I didn’t get to take proper photos of the painting. This is a photo as soon as it was hung in the gallery
I've entered this painting in the Arts of the Tawe Valley art competition.
I titled it “The Beginning of…”
Voting ends 5th April the gallery is full of beautiful artwork and well worth a visit to see the local talent in the area.
Prize giving event is the 6th April further details here https://www.facebook.com/events/637133539952152/