Development of a painting

I thought i’d document the stages of my latest painting. These photos show how I build up a series of layers, starting with the initial and then adding the background.

I’m not too bothered about neatness with the shadows or the sky beccause I know that i’m going to add fallen leaves and tree branches which will cover up my first brush marks. I quite like the effect – it reminds me of impressionist paintings. I think i’m kind of a romantic impressionist.

I left gaps in the background so that the colour of the tree trunks being affected. Its always good to drop in solid lines early on to contrast with the blurred background. Ive also put in a rough idea of the colour i want for the floor cover.

I can see in my head the colours i need to make but each layer of colour is absorbed by the previous one and the two colours mix to create another colour. I use this to my advatage with shadows on the tree trunks. Took me a long time and many layers to get the right grey/greens without using black. All the little branches took a long time too, using a couple of very fine brushes.

At this stage I know im going to go over the floor with more colours so ive added a dark blue to deepen the tree shadows and push the shadow at the Horizon backwards.

Here i’m starting to get the right texture and colour on the trees so I start to develop the floor. Ive added a bright yellow, which will get covered up but is light enough to enhance the next layer of colours and warm enough to bring your eyes to the forground.


I spent all afternoon working on the trees and floor. I didn’t want to use a sponge for the texture of the floor. It has changed completely after quite a few layers of brush mark leaves. At one point I thought i’d never get the middle two trees to look right and i still feel i could work on them a bit more. They probably have about 50 layers of colour – no joking, you can see a raised surface on the paper because it’s so thick.  I decieded that i can’t go any further with this picture and i’m pleased with what i’ve achieved. I’ll post more images as my next paintings evolve.