As a landscape painter, many of my works have a tree or a group of trees that make up a dominant area in the composition. I have often painted trees as green blobs, not too worried about the specifics. As long as it looked like a tree I was satisfied, but recently I have started to view trees in a different way.
With my Tuesday figure drawing class, I have found a definite comparison between the stance of a tree and that of a figure. Each tree has a pose, an attitude, that translates onto the canvas. Much like a standing figure, the weight of a tree is counterbalanced; if the trunk leans to the right a large branch will thrust out to the left. The soft curve of a branch can mirror a leg; the sharp angles are like that of a bent arm.
Each tree also has an attitude which is manifest by its pose. Stately, rigid, voluptuous, vulnerable are only a few examples of how to portray a tree. I have seen paintings of gnarled, weathered trees that emote a feeling of time, endurance and age. In Chasing the Sun, the center tree cluster is young, vibrant and communicates a sense of joy with its airy upward reaching branches. The group to the right is solid, permanent with strength being its dominant feature.
So before painting that green blob, think about what you want that tree to say. What is its attitude.
If you have a comment see below. I am always glad to hear from readers.
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4 Responses to Painting Trees with Attitude
Really like the light and what you have to say about the trees. I really want to get right in there and walk that path.......I am drawn to what 'might' be on the other side! I would like this hanging on my wall! Thanks, again, for sharing!
Thank you both Ruths. The trees were a lot of fun to paint.
I live in a world of the tallest trees on earth and I inhale them...visually and physically. Their individuality is reflected by the subtlety of their attitude. In all their multitude, there are no two alike. You give such potent insight into your subjects and illustrate an aspect that I've never thought of. I do apprediate your gifts and your generosity in sharing them. Thank you.
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