When I am not working on a commissioned painting I often push myself by learning new techniques while creating paintings for others to fall in love with. This particular painting has been difficult to master at times and has gone through a bit of change through it’s growth and life. I am proud to say that I finished it recently!
I started with a specific image in my mind of a Ginkgo Tree. The Ginkgo Tree is one of the oldest tree species as it is very resistant to pest and other diseases. There is one in Japan that survived the Hiroshima bomb and it is well known as the Hope Tree. When you look at a gingko tree, you will hear always hear a soft rustling due to their unique leaf shape. It’s leaves are a vibrant green gold colour and in fall becomes a gold ochre colour. Because of it’s longevity it is a symbol of hope and strength.
Each painting session I take an picture of the painting, as I find it fascinating to see the development of the painting. After some conversations with some of my viewers I learned that seeing how a painting comes together is really amazing to see. Here is the start to finish of the “Hope and Strength Tree” painting that started out named as the “Gingko Tree”
Please note that all photos, except for the last one, were taken with my iphone in my studio and you will see the colours look a little different each photo because of the lights I had on when I was working on the painting.
I have added descriptions below each photo, but it’s also really fun to scroll down the page quickly!!
The video is available here.
I always add a light wash to start off just about all of my paintings. I wanted to see how the movement of the piece looked like on canvas.
Started the trunk section and gave the tree branches the initial form and shape.
Added the trunk area in – in my mind it’s too bold and is taking up “eye space” from the tree being this wide.
I decided to make the trunk narrower and started the patterns in the leaves. The part about oil painting that I LOVE is that I can change and edit any part I’m not totally thrilled with.
I started adding in the darker areas in the branches. I also gave the trunk some texture and lighter areas.
Placing the darker areas through the branches
Blending the darker areas.
I added the sunlit area in the bottom portion of the painting and started in on the shadow areas near the trunk.
More blending in the branches.
I lightened the darker areas in the branch area to give the image more of the soft lightness that I envisioned it having when I started the painting.
Gave the branch areas some highlights and added in the second shadow area on the bottom right of the painting. I also added in some additional sun rays.
I lightened the branch areas considerably and gave the sun rays more contrast.
I continued lightening and adding highlights on the branch areas, I added a few other colours to the trunk area, giving it more of a warm glow.
Here is the finished painting!
The difference in colour from the other photographs is because this image was taken in a photo studio and is an accurate representation of the painting. Please note that all computer monitors shift slightly in colour.
This painting is now looking for it’s new home and is ready to radiate it’s soft strength and hope to it’s viewers. It’s a big one (40″x60″) which is nearly 4 feet tall and exactly 5 feet long and I can see this gracing an office wall.
You can also view the video here.