Tuesday, May 29, 2012

High Water

As soon as I saw the photo that I took last week at the bird sanctuary in Salmon Arm, I knew I had to paint it.  Now I'm not too sure.  Usually a shrub or tree would have a darker value than the background hill, but the photo showed differently.  I know you should never trust a photo, but it looked correct to me.  When you live in an area with evergreen trees everywhere you look, the hills and mountains can look very dark.  I guess I could just say the sun was shining on the shrub, but the background was cloudy.  Now that I am typing my thoughts out it makes perfect sense.  It is up to me to decide what the painting looks like and I can have the sun shine anywhere I want.  I feel better now that I won that argument with myself.  Or did I lose it?

Shuswap Lake is on the rise with the runoff of melting snow from the surrounding mountains and you get scenes like this quite often.  Normally this little bush would be far back from the lake, but right now it doesn't have to look too far for water.  It looks like it is just standing there in defiance, daring the lake to come any closer.  I don't know if I would have taken the photo a few months ago.  It wasn't a great photo, but I thought it could make an interesting painting.  I am learning to take photos for painting references now, not for beautiful photos.  There is a big difference.

This is painted with Windsor & Newton Artisan WMO's and is painted on a 4 x 6 canvas panel.  I used the same triad as yesterday.  The paint was a little sticky, but still workable.  I didn't time myself, but it probably took between thirty to forty minutes to paint.  

Thanks for looking.


Doug Wasilieff



  1. Of course, I don't know what the reference photo looked like, but this painting is a wonderful interpretation, regardless. I love the light shining on the bush; with the different values in the bush and shadow the sense of light is striking. The water looks like water, and I feel like I am there! Although it doesn't look like a photo, but a painting, an artist's interpretation. I think this is one of my favorites of yours so far.

    Thanks for the comment you left on my blog, btw. Comments like yours that are so supportive are really helpful and make me know to keep on keeping on. I'm thanking you here because I don't know if you'll have a chance to read the thank you I left you over there.

  2. Thanks for the comments, Meredith. I think I am finding it easier to get my thoughts down onto the painting surface and painting in a more painterly style using oils. I don't know why this is, but I am being drawn towards oils more and more. Maybe I need a rest from pastels. I don't know, but I am not going to fight it. I have the paint and the canvas panels, so I may as well see where this all takes me.

    One of your favorites? Thank you! Music to my ears. I hope the next one is one of your favorites as well.

    I went back and read your reply to my comments. We are in similar situations and it is nice to know that we are not alone in this journey to get better at our craft. We are hard on ourselves, but I think that just shows how badly we want this. Sometimes it takes others to point out how far we have actually come.

    Keep having fun!!!!