September 2, 2012 @ 3:21 PM

Steps 4 - 6

I am not sure how much detail to put into the leaves. I usually plan a painting and know what I am going to do. I am actually going to paint without really knowing where I am going. Usually a plan for disaster -- what makes me think it will work this time??
Anyway, this is how I started; I mixed two greens, a lighter with more yellow and a medium dark with more blue. Colors used; ultramarine blue, Winsor and Newton cadmium yellow hue (an almost orange yellow, for a more muted green) and for the lighter green some Winsor yellow or cadmium yellow light would also work. To mute the greens added a little red.
Brushed in some dark and light areas of the greenery in very loose brush strokes. I was hoping it would become easier to figure out how I was going to paint the greens but still don't know where I am going with this.

I decided to continue the greens by focusing on the dark and light areas and just suggesting the shape of some leaves and clusters here and there. I added a few orange and yellow accents. To stay loose I painted with my reading glasses on and at a distance that the view was fuzzy enough to stop me focusing on details!

How quickly a painting becomes over worked! I went to work on the roots and limbs, colors Alizarin crimson, naphtol red, transparent red oxide and hints of cadmium orange for the reds and also re-positioning of some darks using ultra blue and trans red oxide. I did some touch up of the light background including sky holes.

When I had done what I thought was minimum placing of darks and reddish highlights etc. and took a good look I was unhappy. It looked over worked already! I did some smudging with a palette knife to soften some of the details. Not sure it helped. I will need to work on the bird to see if it all balances out.

Click here to go to Part 3 of painting "Ethereal"