by Lisa Larrabee
Oil 16" x 12"
artist Lisa Larrabee
I am continuously experimenting with how to paint trees. Previously, I have shown the process to define shapes and branches through negative space painting. In this example, I decided to show a softer technique, because I currently have students who are discovering that trees can be a significant challenge to paint.
I also want to show the tremendous benefit of oiling out your painting to create an even finish and bring out the true colors of the painting.
I began by roughly painting in the colors and shapes where I saw them. Significant branches were included, but all other detail was left out.
Using a large soft bristled brush, I blended the colors together.
The same technique was applied throughout with a focus on color and value over detail.
Once dry, I painted additional layers over the top and allowed brushwork to show. It is difficult to tell in the picture, but some areas are beginning to look patchy from the dullness created as oil sinks beneath the surface as it dries.
Oiling out a painting allows the richness of the colors to be shown as they were when they were painted. I use a 50/50 mix of Gamblin Galkyd and Gamsol (OMS), but you can use other painting mediums. You can clearly see the "T" shape where I brushed my Galkyd/Gamsol mix across the top and down the middle. It is very beneficial to oil out your painting throughout the painting process so that you can accurately match or adjust new paint colors to the existing dry colors. You can let the oils sink into the surface and then wipe off excess before painting a new layer. Also, if you intend to varnish your finished painting, it is still recommended that you oil out your painting to allow for a more even application of varnish.
I hope this is helpful. Best of luck!