I did a small plein air study of a creek just outside of town (Weimar) and scaled it up into a studio work over the past few days. The hardest thing to do is keep the “fresh” look of loose brushstrokes the the original study has. I think I repainted the foreground about five times, finally getting an objective viewpoint from Mom, and presto, it was done. Goes to show the value of a critique and how brushwork is so much more confident when there’s a solid plan in sight.
I decided to soften the edges on the trees to ensure that line between the light sky and the dark tree did distract from the hard edges of the focal point near the center of the creek.
It still feels a bit like I need to add something more, but I can’t put my finger on it, so this is when to set it aside and begin a new work. I do like how the golden grass contrasting with the dark creek and trees was retained as that was the instant draw when I saw the scene. The gradation from the sky reflections into the brown-ochre color of the creek bed was a great lesson. There is so many small color shifts in the creek bed! Fun.