For me, spending time in the woods is like finding a tiny oasis from a hectic world. This is why a few years ago I started a series of wooded landscapes. I want to show you the entire process of painting one of these treescapes, so I documented each step with photos a long the way.
Each painting that I do starts with an abstract under-painting. The under-painting is completely dry before I start on the painting. You can see here that in the under-painting, I am simply playing with color combinations. Notice the combination of cool and warm tones. The goal here is create color combinations that are balanced and that play off of each other in a playful way. Some areas of the under-painting will remain visible in the final painting.
The next step in the process is to start play with both the negative and the positive space in the painting. The positive space is the actual physical objects in the painting (trees and leaves). The negative space is the space between those objects (light coming through from the background). Here I am also choosing colors that play off of the colors in the under-painting. Notice how much texture I can create using a palette knife as my paint brush.
Now you can see that I have started to add much more structure to the painting by blocking in tree trunks and limbs. I also still continue to play with the foliage colors as well as adding some depth and definition to the sky. I also have brought more color and depth to the foreground.
The final piece is a very textural impressionistic wooded landscape with an abundance of warm inviting colors and a glow of early morning sun coming through the trees.