Here are the reference photos:
Here is my block in stage - with work done on the background
At this point I got rid of the green in the field. it was too much color and seemed to be making a different statement than fall leaves to me. experimenting with the composition and laying in tree trunks. Having fun creating the layered texture of the tree trunks and the ground. Using a lot of alizarin crimson and quin gold.
Sooo. Back from the "day job" yesterday. Can't say I am even a little bit happy with this painting at this point. I did a google search for autumn leaves acrylic paintings. No help. Pretty much people do close up leaves or distant leaf blobs. But this painting has been in my head a long time and I need to come to some sort of peace with it. Ugh. I'm feeling actually physically ill which is how I get when I can't resolve a painting. I'm hoping it's because I'm nearing a breakthrough! Hoping, hoping, hoping!
Well, let me articulate what I don't like if I can. The big leaves look sooo heavy and dense, like they are made of clay! I got tired toward the end and especially the bright yellow brushmarks are mushy and not courageous. The spiral theme feels gimmicky. I love the reds on the ground - the ground looks bluer here than it is. But, is the ground lava?! (a game my kids used to play). This doesn't feel cool and crisp like a fall day. It feels hot. I had gone through a phase where the big leaves were more realistic. But they just looked overworked (and still do)
Okay, what is the breakthrough? Let's try some specific changes. I need more air/background in the big leaves. Less dense. I need a gradation of color from big leaves on right to smaller on left. They are all the same. Need to lose the 3 big same shaped leaves - vary the size and orientation of the leaves. I need more neutral colors in the leaves. Just too much saturated color. And some lighter yellow, maybe cooler yellow. Do I need some dappled sunlight catching a bit of leaves and ground? Maybe use sunlight as part of the spiral instead of all saturated color? Edges. I need some crisp edges in the big leaves. just a few and the rest much softer and more lost.
So, lets give that a try. Chime in here any time! I can use all the help I can get :)
some things are better. Big leaves are okay. dappled light not so much. too much I think and too cool. Not to happy with the dull gray flat spots upper right. light on tree trunks not convincing. left tree trunk not good, also dont like the curved smaller branch on the left
Well, aside from the fact that I can never seem to photograph the color right. This one is actually truer to the real colorsm but there is more green in the dark areas of the leaves. oh well. Dappled light better I think, and tree trunks. It may be done. I think I made some forward progress. It feels kind of fantasy like to me. Like there should be a troll peaking out of the trees hmmmm
okay, final final....
"Autumn Forest" 18x24 acrylic on canvas. Original available in my etsy shop