Painting “pear orchard”

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PEAR ORCHARD • 30 inches x 40 inches (in progress)

My sketch. You can see I had initially planned to have a path going through the field. At the last-minute, right before I was about to paint the path I changed my mind.

The swatch of fabric on my drafting table is what I used to develop the color palette for this piece. I want to be able to hang this painting in my bedroom until it finds a permanent home.

I'm going to add a burnt orange stripe to the horizon. My last little tree had a more colorful sky, and I was pleased with how that looked. I want this painting to feel like the sun is coming up over the water.

This photo shows how I paint my skies. I paint stripes of color and then blend them together. The most important trick: keep your brushes clean! (Meaning, don't let them touch stripes of the other colors. You want the stripes to stay as pure as possible until you're ready to blend them. Otherwise you'll have a dirty-looking sky.)

The sky is blended now. Unfortunately, my camera doesn't really capture the softness of the blending in the sky. (If you're wondering what's on the canvas--like Nathan was last night--I put tape on the inside edge of the trees so I could paint the water behind them more smoothly.

DAY TWO: Here's what the painting looked like before I began working on it again this morning.

The first thing I did this morning was add more layers of blue paint in the water. I wanted to make sure it was rich enough-looking before I began the foreground. It's a lot harder to go back and mess with the water when the foreground is done.

I was just about to paint the path next to the pear trees when I had a thought: The sun is obviously very low in the sky so there need to be some really strong shadows cast by the trees. I drew those shadows in, and then decided that I didn't need the path after all. (We'll see if I was right or not as the painting progresses.)

I think the shadows have the same effect as the path would have had; leading your eye towards the water. I'm going to let the grass area in the foreground dry for a while and then give it another coat. Right now you can still see pencil lines bleeding through. I need to add a layer that contains more white, as this will cover the lines. Then I'll take the tape off the trees and do those last. Stay tuned...

If you’ve been following this blog, you may have gathered how crazy-in-love I’ve been with all the blooming pear trees I’ve seen this spring.

After completing my painting called “SC Tree #18” I thought it would be nice to do a larger painting in this same color palette.

Then on our drive home from Wisconsin to South Carolina on Easter Sunday, we saw row upon row of these gorgeous trees blooming in the hills of Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. By the time we arrived home, I knew I wanted to paint at least one more pear tree painting to remind myself of the glorious spring I’ve enjoyed this year.

The Pear trees were actually done blooming in SC by the time we got home, thanks to the extra H-O-T weather. But you don’t need to feel too sorry for me for having missed them while I was gone. In their place were flowering dogwoods everywhere.

So NOW, I’m also in love with Dogwoods… and Azaleas… and Red-bud trees…

One thought on “Painting “pear orchard”

  1. It’s always fun to see a work in progress. I like this painting very much – the vibrant colors and the simplicity of the design work really well! nancy

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