Rocks, Plants, and Randomness

My landscape is finally nearing completion, perhaps when it’s done I’ll actually decide on a name for it. The first step in putting the finishing touches on a work is to give it some varnish. This has the unfortunate side effect of making the painting shinier than it would otherwise be, but it brings out the full color of the paint. Once the varnish enables me to actually see what I’ve done I get to work.

Here you can see the before/after of the area around the roots of the tree. I quite enjoy this kind of work and one of the most important parts of doing it right is restraint. It would be very easy for me to get carried away and turn this section of the work into its own little forest floor still life. Though it could be beautiful in and of itself, it would seriously throw off the balance of the rest of the painting and I’ve got to think about the health of the entire work.

This section I needed to make less bare and create a natural transition between the different kind of rocks Humphry and the tree rest on. When I was working on it I accidently made that transition point too hard, almost a line. It’s a surprisingly easy mistake to make – it is extraordinarily hard to paint a random distribution. You always end up trying to make some sort of pattern, even unconsciously.


In the next update about this landscape I’ll be talking about a complex issue with the sky you might be able to notice…

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