Monday, May 2, 2016

Editing the Landscape

I think I might have bitten off more than I can chew!

This is a totally dense picture, and it will take a lot of patience to develop all the layers needed. Not just layers of colored pencil, but layers and layers of details.

I was working on it more or less as a drawing. Flat, laid out on a table, but that just is not working for me.

This drawing will have to be approached more like a painting, upright and looking to develop depth.

So it is back to the easel, upright and with my pencils held more like a brush. I need to see the entire drawing as it develops. I need to step away and view how each grouping relates to all the other areas of the work. With an oil painting, I would work dark to light, but with colored pencil I will need to work more like a watercolor, light to dark. I am working to locate the major shapes, the large blocks of value, and leaving my areas of light coming through the trees. How to select what to put, what to leave out.

The trees themselves are presenting more of a challenge. Both the rough texture of the bark along with the mosses and leaves covering all surfaces. These trees are a wealth of color and texture. Not just the bark, although that is challenge enough. These are old trees. They have lived and endured and they show it. Every time I look at them I see what a wide range of colors! From the darkest browns, up through actual white. Highlights and scaring. Mosses and lichens. Texture. What I do not see is actual black, except for the boles.

Green. Not a simple color under any circumstances, simply explodes here. The Spanish moss ranges from light almost white green down through gray-dark.

This is going to be a matter of editing. It does not work to simply try to draw each leaf and blade of grass. There are strong shapes here, but also highlights and texture. How do I convey the idea of the dense landscape without making a jumbled mess of it.  

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