Framed by Light - Original Oil Painting of a Eucalyptus Tree - Colorful Tree Painting - Plein Air Tree Painting

"Framed by Light" | 12" x 9" | Oil on canvas panel 
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©2014 by Kim VanDerHoek

This beautiful tree was framed with cool colors the morning I painted it and I felt the warm tones on the eucalyptus tree itself would create an exciting contrast between the two areas.

There is always a fine line between adding too much detail in the peeling bark on these trees and not adding enough to give you the idea of what type of tree it is. When I'm working on a close up of one like you see here I do a lot of thinking before I put my brush on the canvas. I try to get away with as few strokes as possible to convey the idea, that way the paint looks fresh and not beaten up.

A long time ago I read an interview with an artist (sorry, I don't remember who or where) and they talked the paint surface and how working a passage over and over dulls the paint resulting in a loss of luster (I'm paraphrasing here). They went on to say that they worked with an economical stroke to prevent that from happening and to keep the spontaneous feeling alive in the painting.

Since then I've experimented with that idea and found with certain colors that holds true. Of course, I can always add different mediums to help combat the effect but, I prefer to keep it simple and use as little medium as possible which forces me to think carefully about each step of my painting process.

Every year I gain a new appreciation for how important it is to make careful and thoughtful decisions in painting, not that I still don't botch the job but, I think it's helped me a lot.


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