The background was also laid in with strong colors but as the painting progressed over the last few months, what remained was the strong lighting at the top as the the strong colors in the background were toned down, causing them to recede.
All of these moves were done to improve the painting rather than create a more realistic scene. This is what makes painting enjoyable for me - trying to get more out of the artwork with a variety of strategies.
During the last painting session today the lighter areas began to take the lead. I made the sky brighter and insured that the glow travelled down into the background. Once more light and shadow variations were added to the grasses below, the entire painting fell into place. After a lot of patient trials, this forest came to life with color, atmosphere and in a somewhat abstract way.
I really like those original dark trees with their high contrast and the motion they give to this work.
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