This tree is only a short distance from my home, and I pass by it almost every day. This fall, it was one of the last trees to hang on to it's bright red leaves. In the late afternoon, as the sun was starting to set, the light behind the tree made the entire mass of red leaves seem to glow from within.
(I hope that nobody minded me parking in the middle of the street one afternoon to take this photo!)
My goal in this painting was to capture the incredible crimson glow. I started with a panel, 30" square and 2" deep. I applied a thin layer of modeling paste to add some texture to the flat surface. I then used charcoal pencil to sketch the tree. I started with blue and purple paint to block int he light and shadow (I like using cool colors under warm colors to add to their vibrancy)
Under the tree, I used copper leaf to illustrate the dried leaves. When the light hits it just right, they shimmer.
I used a palette knife to layer various cool and warm reds in the foliage, and when all the paint was dry I glazed the entire painting with a warm brown to highlight the grooves and push the warmth of the reds.
This stunning reproduction captures the built up texture of paint, the layers of color, and a hint of the shimmer of the copper foil under the tree. 13" x 19" paper. Image size is 11" square.
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