Field with the Red Tree
Oil on canvas, 36 x 60 inches
I'm doing a workshop in the Lincoln, NE metro and I wanted a photo of the area for a promo. I came across a small photo of a local golf course and added it to the copy. After seeing this photo a few times, I felt compelled to try it out as an oil.
I was feeling ambitious so I got a five for canvas and went to work. It's a simple line of trees in a field but the idea is to make it compelling. Thrilling.
The green fairway had to go so I opted for a glowing, yellow field without as much foreground. I liked the way the trees were in shadow on the right but I made them more pronounced here, adding to the depth.
From there it was a matter of doing interesting things with the sloping tree line. I noted a number of different tree shapes when I sketched it in, but when I was about to finish the oil, all those trees were too busy. I combined most of the individual trees, making masses of trees in the back. Instantly I had more depth and the opportunity to bring in some really interesting colors and effects. Once those colors were in, I saw the chance to take the entire painting up chromatically. That was the fun part, making the colors more intense and trying new combinations.
It became much more interesting with a stronger presence. I also like how various parts of the canvas shimmer and glow, a result of taking the work further with some unexpected colors and getting interesting results.
I think I got a pretty good score on that hole.