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Monday, February 21, 2011

Lorrie #2

Mossy Oak, watercolor, 9 x 12 inches on cold-pressed paper.
There are many great old oaks dotting the hills at Henry Coe State Park, about 1-1/2 hour south of San Francisco (and inland). I had painted the moss-decorated, multi-armed trunk of this one on site during a hike a few weeks ago, and I wanted to try a new version at home. While doing so, as I painted wet into wet in the beginning, some areas looked like dead weathered wood, and though the original tree was fully healthy and alive, I thought it was an interesting look. So I left some areas without bark (or the abundant moss!) higher up the tree.
There was a lot of vegetation texture around the tree, and I just wanted impressions of the dried grasses mixed with some green new grass, dead leaves, etc.The purple hills in background were really there, and I put that in last, thinking it would balance the foreground purples. But now I'm wondering if the hills distract from the grandeur of the tree and the blue-sky day. What do you think?
Also, these oaks often have huge branches that literally rest on the ground. With this tree, the branch on the right curved down and back from my viewpoint. Can you tell this is what is happening? I tried a few things to indicate this... wondering how it looks to you.


Kelly said...

I can totally see that the branch is resting on the ground. I wonder how old it is, it looks ancient. I love all the moss. I don't think the hills detract, they define the place setting so well. I immediately thought California when I saw the painting...

Mermaid's Palette said...

This is really nice- I love the colors! I do not think the hills distract and they show distance with the nice purple. Your shadows show that the branch is on the ground. I am in Lathrop- this park must be in my backyard!

Elva Paulson said...

I also like the distant hills. They are light enough to read as 'distant' and the help tie you painting together. I also think the branch reads as going back and away. Those not familiar with these old oaks might wonder about it, but I have seen them.

Lorrie Klosterman said...

Thanks for your input. It´s fun to know that some of you know these trees and the terrain...