The process oil vs. watercolor Pacific Trees

The Process:

As I was wandering through our backyard the other day I took a moment to appreciate living in the Pacific Northwest.  We get these amazing cloudy nights where the clouds create a luminescent layer back lit by the moon.  Looking at the clouds over my head,  I had an inspiration moment and decided to try and recreate the feeling I had.  It is rare that I’m walking through an area and can see what I want to create like a vision floating in my head.   The hard part is then carving the time to create what I want.   I will start research, photographs and sketches immediately.   I find that the painting takes over my brain and it’s all I think about—in our family we call it the art frenzy.   All else becomes secondary to creating the piece—at least it used to.. now I have a personal life that matters more so I have to figure out a better balance.

For this piece, I wandered through our backyard and took a series of photos of the trees that inspired the piece.  I then printed the photos out and pasted them around my worktable so I could stare at them as I created.

Tress Backyard-2

Creating the sky in my vision was an interesting journey.   Since I normally work in watercolor, I naturally began thinking of this piece in watercolor.

Watercolor pnw bkd

That being said, I thought this piece would be a great opportunity to create an oil painting.  I started a watercolor sky and an oil sky… and loved the oil sky.  I had so much fun that I began adding the trees to the oil painting first.

Oil PNW trees

I found that the required patience of working in oil was a major transition but probably good for my character (I’m terribly impatient).  I first created the sky and had to wait two days for it to dry.  Each tree was painted and then given some time to dry.

PNW tress-2Now the question is, “is the painting done?”.  I welcome your comments and thoughts on both the oil painting and the watercolor painting.

Best wishes to all who are out there!


4 Responses to “The process oil vs. watercolor Pacific Trees”

  1. Cameron Says:

    Where’s the camper trailer that appears in the photo? 😉
    I think a gentle reflective glow of a camp fire and a wisp of smoke would be cool.

  2. lizgeiger Says:

    Grin, that camper trailer is our neighbor’s RV in their backyard… it’s right next to the dumptruck that somehow has a new home. I’ll ponder the campfire idea… could be a good future painting.

  3. Rebecca Says:

    Liz – I think it’s done. That’s the constant question for all artists…but I like it!

  4. lizg Says:

    Becca, thanks! I agree with you. it’s done, in fact it’s hanging on the studio wall and generally looking like a cloudy night out here. I’ll be posting a video of the studio soon and showing everyone what it all looks like in the studio.

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