“Fruit Trees, Early Spring” – Watercolor Landscape Painting

7″ x 10″ matted and mounted to a standard size of 11″ x 14″.  These two trees grow on the grounds of Field Farm Reservation in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Character of the Day

On the day I visited, their blooms were gone, and the green foliage had already grown thick.

The afternoon light could have been dramatic. Instead, it really created a whole lot of mid-value greens which flattened the visual space.  It was also a cool day. The colors in the landscape – blues and greens – echoed the feel of the temperatures.

Process and Approach to the Landscape and the Painting

It might have been a good choice to change the scene, adding more color to get some variety and add space and depth.  But, I like the challenge of capturing a place at a given place and time. Adding too much different color would have meant losing the look of a cool day in spring.

If I was to be as true to the day and time as possible, the cool color scheme would have to stay. And it did, for the most part. There were changes made to some of the color. Using less of the yellow-greens that are so prominent in the middle of spring was one choice.  Blue was added in a number of places – most prominently in the shade and shadow areas of the right hand tree.

Still, creating depth and interest was going to require a departure in some way.  Since making much change to color was not an option, the only other choice was to manipulate the value arrangement while still retaining a sense of the flat light of this particular afternoon. To separate the different areas of the landscape, thin, irregular horizontals of mid-value gray were placed to indicate shadow areas in the back ground and the flat foreground planes.  The small areas that have the darkest darks are placed on the two trees.

This painting is currently on exhibit at the Vermont Arts Council Spotlight Gallery, 136 State Street, Montpelier, Vermont. Exhibit runs through October 31, 2014.

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