WIP - seeing the wood for the trees
I've been enjoying working on my canvas and I wanted to share my progress so far. The picture below shows what it looked like after I added some very basic smatterings of colour and you can see the rough outline of a tree trunk and the main branches. At this point I was feeling very nervous. I was quite intimidated by the task ahead as I wasn't quite sure how to tackle the huge amount of greenery in the foreground.
I couldn't see the wood for the trees...literally.
The crude strokes looked terrible compared to the quality of the portal. Typically, this is the point where I could easily lose confidence and abandon the painting altogether. However, I had to trust that I had enough skill to work up the layers and eventually create the effect I was looking for. I needed to be patient.
In many ways, life can be the same. We can have something all nicely worked out, such as a small family, a job, a home, even a business but when we expand our ideas and start to lay down the foundations for something bigger, it can upset the quality of the picture for a while (metaphorically speaking).
In a fast paced world where we expect everything on-demand, patience is something we seldom have time for. However, I often find the build up of anticipation as something gradually unfolds far more satisfying than if it were to just appear. I always enjoy my paintings when they are finished but I can't wait to start the next one because it is the process (or the journey) of painting that I love (whilst moving towards a destination I hope I'm going to be happy with of course!).
I left the canvas for a couple of weeks, partly because life got in the way and partly because I needed to visualise the next stage more clearly. After a bit of time observing bushes and trees whilst out and about and watching a couple of youtube videos on painting trees, I felt ready to pick up the paintbrush again.
After another 5 hours or so (and a thousand shades of green), here's where I got to....
As you can see, I've not finished the fox gloves yet but I'm feeling much happier now I've got in more of the detail.
When I've completed the fox gloves, I will paint in the detail of the path and soften the hard edge of the ferns by adding some grasses, wild flowers and more foliage. Then I will move on to the greenery on the other side of the path. Hopefully I will get quicker as I go.
I think it will be a few more weeks before I can pick this up again but watch this space (or path in this case) for the next instalment.