Early one spring morning I was out with the camera. It had rained the night before so everything was drenched and sparkling in the morning sunshine. I was standing inside the canopy of the Moonfire Japanese Maple just to see what could be seen from there. The foliage was ablaze with translucent fire and reflected violet. This is the sort of subject that I really enjoy painting...though I'd starve to death if I needed to make a living from it!
11x15" Wallis Professional Sanded Paper, Pastels
The challenge to this piece was it's complexity. I did have to simplify some, and to invent a couple hands of foliage to fill in where I omitted visual chaos. I knew that once all sketched onto the sand paper, it would be hard to keep up with what the lines 'meant' so I outlined with red, violet, or green pastel pencil as I went. This proved to be very helpful. I knew that 'value' was going to be a real challenge for this piece. #1 because the darkest and highest contrast objects were in the foreground and these were 'cool' colors #2 because behind them were flaming reds. It's just the nature of even a dark red to be brighter than any blue or blue green.
Thought it might be interesting to show the reference work. First is the original snapshot. Second is the crop from that original that I used as the inspiration.