Trees in the Fog

Trees in the Fog. Oil on Lead Primed Linen Panel. 12" x 9".
Why emphasize the priming of my substrate? Because it's had an extraordinary influence in the direction of this painting.

Lead primed portrait linen is somewhat unforgiving: it's slick-smooth and hard. Every touch shows and it's hard to soften the edges. Exactly the challenge I need in my quest to learn a softer touch in my edge work.

This is one I shared weeks ago on the blog right here and yes, I've worked on it every single day since then. More transparent glazes, more semi-opaque areas of sky, back and forth between the sky and the branches, back and forth between the lit leaves on the forest floor and then the lovely transparent glazes that darken them too much.

I'm not sure why I shared my sketches and underpainting of this painting last month. At the time, I was certain this wouldn't turn out. At all. A warm, deep forest floor, the small rise with the trees, the thicket of forest behind them dissolving in the fog: I had no confidence that I could convey this sense of mystery.

Now I'm starting to rethink that. I'm beginning to like the atmosphere. This is exactly why I'm learning Tonalism: to convey a mood and a sense of place that I couldn't do with direct painting. It's exactly that search for expression that drives artists in new directions.
BTW, this is still a work in progress, but it's nearing the end.

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