Orange Tree by the Lake
7" square pastel on
Stillman & Birn Beta Journal
Photo by StormeRider (LiveJournal)
Storme and Nonny gave me permission to use a number of beautiful photos they took when they lived in Massachusetts a while back. I copied it and saved it and meant to paint the autumn scene - today's the day I did. Very different from the photo's composition and by the time I was done they weren't the same trees either. But I loved the reference and it gave me a very clear memory of the forms and colors of a forest that is turning - some trees all the leaves are gone or brownish gray, last few bits of warm color, others still green or starting to turn, the blazing center beauties rivaling flowers in their glory.
I've seen scenes like this so many times in my life. All the years I was in New York State. All the years in Chicago or Minnesota or Kansas or Arkansas or Colorado, so many places I've lived had these scenes and roads soaring through it. I've been on drives just to see the fall colors. Taken photos I lost later on, that happened often, but it's all there in memory and this reference opened all those memories.
Rembrandt pastels work wonderful on Stillman & Birn Beta rough heavy paper. I used them with all my techniques and the deep texture gave me plenty of white flecks that I used to advantage in foliage texture for "highlighted leaves" and some sky hole effects, while others showed me good places to dot in a hole through that tree to show the foliage behind it. I like the laciness of the star tree and the way the colors blend a bit in the distance but shine around the best one. Had fun with reflections too.