15 Day Challenge – Trees, Day 4

Aspens in the Fall are spectacular showing-off with thin, tall, white trunks and their colorful foliage – it’s usually a stop and take it all in kind of moment when you spot one.

Today’s tree challenge is devoted to Aspens and wanting this one to pop I opted for a dark forest as the background letting the brilliance of this specimen stands out.

The oil pastel (7×5) was painted on Mi-Teintes black pastel paper, blending material were clay shapers, razor blades and my fingers (oh so messy!).  Wanted to keep the leaves in their roundish shape I choose to use Pointillism style.  I’ve not tried this before and I found the technique interesting using sticky oil pastels and while most of the dots are still visible, I had some difficulty in applying the lightest value for highlights on the foliage – will have to remember to leave spaces void of OPs to allows for the last stage of application.

Hope you enjoy a touch of Fall ~


Aspen, Day 4

Aspen, Day 4

About Mary

Oil Pastelist
This entry was posted in Challenges: Subject Matter Studies, Trees. Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to 15 Day Challenge – Trees, Day 4

  1. Stefano says:

    I totally love the contrast here, and I love Aspens, so it really is a win-win for me! Outstanding work as usual, Mary! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Exciting to read Stefano, thank you! My goal one day is to paint a grove of them with Fall colors – perhaps this Fall I’ll do a full sized painting with this theme. Only question, do I have the courage?

  2. Painting for Joy says:

    Fabulous play of darks and lights!! Very nice Mary.

  3. Gallivanta says:

    This one is my favourite so far. 🙂

  4. sefeniak says:

    Love the colors, contrasts and light play. Your Aspen stands out and catches ones eye! As it should.

  5. Beautiful golden tree! 🙂

  6. ĽAdelaide says:

    I love aspens but we don’t see them much here. I think they are meant to live with other aspens perhaps! Yours is so wonderful and crisply green I do feel fall in it! xx

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Linda – we don’t have any Aspens here in North TX (maybe too dry), maybe East TX. They are such a beautiful addition to a landscape, and your right – when they are with a grove of others it’s one heck of a gorgeous scene especially in the Fall.

  7. M-R says:

    That … is … GORGEOUS. Drop dead gorgeous. [applauds]

  8. Don says:

    Really beautiful Mary.

  9. Mary, that’s a beautiful golden tree! So radiant! 🙂

  10. Spectacular tree, love it how it pops out from the background and dominates the canvas! Messy or not the subdued details on the trunk of the tree is a wonderful little touch, definitely this aspen is a star in all her glorious color!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Eva. For some of the marks I scrape the surface with a razor blade it provides subtle marks that I can take advantage of as I work the paint. So glad you enjoyed the piece.

  11. That is spectacular!

  12. Your tree focus has paid off! Beautifully rendered, Mary. The rhythm of darks and lights are lyrical!

  13. Wow, Mary! At first glance, I thought you posted a photograph! Beautiful! 🙂

  14. mamie says:

    Wow– I love the texture and how it pops out of the darkness. It reminds me of a beautiful yellow ginkgo tree, too. I love it!

  15. Francesca says:

    I love the contrast of the yellow against the green! Simply great!

  16. I find this project so interesting, Mary. …it gets me pondering…are there some trees that are ubiquitous geographically, so that they could go in almost any painting? Does the type of tree in a painting give it “local color” as well as paint color” ? Is there such a thing as a “generic tree”? By the time you finish this, you’ll be some kind of tree expert!

    • Mary says:

      I don’t know about expert, ha – but I did learn in this exercise that there is a big difference between Aspens and Birch trees. Oh what great questions! As an artist, if a painting is rendered in realism and of a specific geographical place then you’ll most likely have trees specific to the location and that goes with the local color as well. If the painting comes more from emotion and imagination, the trees will become a generic tree of choice and color as the paints work their magic on the surface – a sort of letting go of rules, like in more loosely based, impression or expressive styles. In this case the trees could then go in almost any painting and the color will be local to the scene and paint color will most likely be combined.

  17. Line says:

    Even my post is about trees today! 🙂 But I am not an artist like you, so my trees are only photographed 🙂 I love your art! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Line – appreciate your beautiful comment. How cool that you posted about trees today, looking forward to reading your beautiful writing and to see the photographs.

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