Here is a sequential pictorial of this work (Springtime Weeping Willows) still in progress.
Still unfinished, the following description refers mostly to the last photo and where my painting is currently.
I’ve spent several days working on adding new colors, blending colors, glazing and then adding more color. I’m working on color harmony and tones, trying to get to that place where when I look at the painting quickly I get a “warm fuzzy” and not heartburn. I’m not there yet but I’m starting to see glimpses of areas that make me happy.
I’m also working on texture, using mostly a palette knife to apply the paint. I’m layering the paint, working colors off each other, keeping in mind that this is Springtime in Virginia. The yellow ochre, raw sienna and burnt sienna colors along with sap green that I added earlier were making the overall painting look too dull for Springtime. I started working in cooler, Cadmium green, Emerald green and Thalo yellow green to bring the grassy field back to life.
The morning I stumbled upon this scene it was just starting to drizzle. The sky was whitewashed due to the rains that were coming, allowing the willow branches to stand out against the sky while at the same time it made the white barn recede into the landscape. I wanted the barn to stand out more, so I punched up the sky with Prussian blue, Titanium white and worked brush strokes of Grumbacher Thio Violet mixed with white over the blue.
By doing this the cloud formation took shape, the light green and yellows on the willow trees popped to life, the background hills looked more sunlit, and the white barn became much more prominent.
Lastly, my goal is to capture the serenity of the scene while making it more interesting to those who want to take a closer peak. For example, the white barn is really coats of light orange, light blue, a little light yellow and flake white dragged over top. The shaded side includes violets. As I’ve mentioned before, the overall green tone of the painting is a combination of many colors. The willow trees have a dark base consisting of blacks, browns and blues with light violets, orange and flake white dragged over top to give the trees a rough texture.
My most recent steps were developing the Prussian blue sky in the same manner. I broke up the blue with broken color and gave it the texture that the rest of the painting has while maintaining the same overall tone.
I’m still working on the entire canvas, hopping around and adding finishing touches. The fencing needs work, the stump by the big willow etc…
Impressionism can range from spontaneous to carefully thought out application of color. I’m enjoying both in this painting. Unfortunately, the later takes time. I’m getting closer though to the “warm fuzzy” and that’s what makes it all worth while!
As an aside, just went to move my easel while working on Stage 5 and I hadn't secured the top of the canvas. As I picked up the easel the painting fell forward and hit me in the head! The next thing I knew I had wet paint from the top of the big weeping willow in my hair!
My wife spent the last ten minutes scrubbing my head with soap and water to get the paint out. Back to normal now but off to touch up the weeping willow! :-)