Shadows in an Autumn Landscape 2 of 2

I continued work on my autumn landscape painting today.  Yesterday I had painted in the foreground with white to allow me to put another layer over the top.

al_prepforegroound

So today I worked on the trees, their leaves and the detail of the bushes neaby.

foreground_partwaydone2

I used a tissue to apply the paint for the leaves still on the tree.  At the time I thought it looked messy and horrible and decided to overpaint it with brush strokes to some extent.  This is something I wish I hadn’t done now as I think it looked better before.

This is the painting with the additional detail to the bushes and the leaves overlaid on the tree:

autumntree not yet trimmed

I really think it’s lost something in that change.  However, unlike working in a digital medium, I can’t go back with real paint so I have to live with it.  Another thing I didn’t like is the small tree in the distance.  I just think it looks really quite silly.

So I decided to trim the painting to try to recover something from it.  This is how it worked out:

autumntreefinishedand trimmed

Although the painting hasn’t turned out as I had hoped I did learn something about how I’m handling shadows.  What I learned is that my mind is just not focused on them.  I had a think about this and I suspect that the reason I’m struggling to focus on the shadow work I want to do is because I’m using gouache.  The gouache is still very new to me and I haven’t fully worked it out in my own mind as a medium.   I’m still exploring it, not mastering it.

I very often find it hard to start something else if I’m not finished yet with something I’m already working on.  Even in conversation, if someone says something I don’t understand I get stuck on it – working away at that tiny proportion of the communication which I don’t understand and missing the rest of what is said.  I don’t know if this is an autistic response or just something I do.  Anyway, what I’m going to do tomorrow is paint a small picture in watercolour, which I’m much more familiar with, and really focus on the shadow colour.  I’m going to keep it really simple so that my mind is free to focus only on the shadow colour thing.  I might paint the shadows, not in smooth gradations of tone but more like a cartoon where there are sections of shadow in one clear tone and sections of light.  I could go for three main tones – shadows, local colour and highlights.  I think it would work as a simple picture but it would also free my mind to focus on what I want to learn.

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