Sunday, March 25, 2007

Vernal Pond

Sometimes I see something that begs to be painted, such as this small feeder stream. I paint on occasion with acrylics and this had so many possibilities. I particularly love the flow of the reflected branches. I am also a sucker for the sort of very restrained color pallets this image would require. Also, I have not done a scene with lots of reflection so thought this would be fun.

I normally paint on masonite but had this old canvas from a failed experiment so decided to try again. I have a small project in mind that masonite would be better suited.

Initial rough in with mars black. In retrospect, I might have been well off to do the sky reflection with a pale yellow wash.

Adding some details of the stones and leaves underneath the reflections of the branches. Didn't want too much detail but to give the impression of things going on under the surface. At this point I started thinking of Three Worlds by M.C. Escher and what else I should put in the water.

Escher's carp wouldn't work but instead I began to think of the image as of a spring pond rather than a stream so put something I miss from spring ponds back in Massachusetts, namely spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum). So how many to put? I decided on just two, though quite frankly thought about a real mating scene.

The salamander outlines are shown to the left...

Spotted salamanders
have nice yellow spots and I wanted to feature them and brighten up the painting a bit without getting garish. You may notice I tend to work the whole painting with a particular set of colors as in the greys and blacks. The salamanders were done in ivory back and shades of grey made from ivory black. The yellow and lighter shades of yellow were made with cadmium yellow and titanium white. Note the yellow used in the reflections. This was cadmium yellow and titanium white diluted with gloss medium.

The final painting after initialing is shown below:

Click on the image for a larger view from my flickr photo stream.

It also may not be obvious from the image, but the white areas are just the underlying gesso. This is a larger painting than I normally attempt - 24" x 36". I will probably frame it either in a silver metal flat put together frame or use redwood moulding...cedar might be nice as well. Have miter box will travel!


Technorati Tags:

Post a Comment