A Walk with my Best Friend
Sometimes a painting gestates for some time. I've been planning this one, mainly in the early hours, for several weeks. On the one hand, it's a beautiful scene in a wood in which I walk with my puppy on most days. On the other, I approached it with some trepidation as it is a scene with a massive amount of detail in view, which would need a lot of simplification. If too much detail and accurate painting is included, it detracts from the painting, it doesn't help it. I have no interest in photo-realism, although its practitioners are very skilful. I prefer to present a scene through the prism of my eyes and thoughts, so this was an opportunity to practice what I preach! I started with lots of wet-in-wet washes to set the mood and colour scheme, finishing with the darks between the pine trees. I then lifted out the trees with a damp brush and clean water, backwashing with colour when appropriate. I then painted the rest as normal, simplifying the pine fronds into broad areas of green. Not much light reaches the ground in these plantations, so I also had to lighten colours throughout or the painting would have been dark and morbid. I painted the path with a mixture of wet-in-wet and drybrush technique, adding the leaves as a final colourful touch in areas I had masked out. The shadows on the path have been much reduced, partly to brighten the mood and partly to create a rhythm of lights and darks along the path. Lastly, I added the walker at centre and the dog, which is modelled on my puppy, Zena. I'm very pleased with the result. It couldn't have been any darker without being gloomy but I think I've avoided the trap of painting mud for dark areas! The painting has a pleasing rhythm to it and I think it is beautiful to look at. Here on my board, in real life it looks even better! Yep, I know I always say it, but I enjoyed this one!
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A professional artist living and working in the beautiful north of Scotland. My work is realistic and quite traditional, though strongly interpretational in nature. My inspiration is the beauty of Nature, and the wonderful colours and moods she shows everywhere.