19" x 26"
You can tell a story in many ways. In writing, you can tell a story in a novel or a short story, or even in a poem.
You can do the same thing in a painting. You can tell a story using lots of details, or, in a more abstract way, you can leave some of the details up to the viewer to fill in.
In “Clearing” I attempted to keep the "story" simple.
This step is wet in wet. To keep the intensity of the light and to get the high contrast without losing the yellow light was the key in making the painting work. Yellow is the most difficult color to work with because it changes color with even just a little of another color added to it.
Keeping the edges soft and getting the darks painted while wet meant that I had to keep the entire sky equally wet until everything was just right. Doing that in this size was very daunting.
The sky is finished. Because I achieved the desired intensity on the first wash, I didn't have to add any more layers.
Next is the middle ground. Adding some trees to the first wash and adding some very subtle washes in the ground plane to get some form, and keeping it all in shadow meant that I had to keep the values similar.
Next is the foreground. I wanted the shrubs (yellow color) to pick up some light which helps to bring the foreground forward. With too much contrast and detail I could lose the unity and simplicity that I wanted.
In the final wash, I added a little more detail and contrast in the foreground.
However, it lost a little “sparkle” when completed, so I decided to go to plan “B”.
Scratching some highlights in the middle ground and a few in the foreground gave it the “sparkle” –but still not quite enough.
I still needed more depth in the painting, so I “lifted” some of the color further back in the foreground,
At the end of the painting, I always ask myself if it needs something. –more form? More color? Harder or softer edges. If the answer is that I think it needs something– then I am done. If the answer is yes– it needs something, then I will add to it, or correct it. Then I am done.