15 Day Challenge – Trees, Day 11

Today I tried my hand painting a silhouette of a large Oak Tree with the sun setting in the background.

This oil pastel is an 8×10 painted on Mi-Teintes gray tinted pastel paper.  I’ve wanted to paint several silhouettes but have always put it off – so I decided this 15 day challenge gave me a good opportunity to give it a shot.

Rushing to complete my deadline, I can see on the bottom-left side the cloud structure near to the sun setting needs a bit better shaping.  I’ll try to scrape it out and re-paint but I’m  sure the OPs have stained the paper sufficiently enough that it may be too late.  It’s an experiment, so I’ll be giving it a go tomorrow after the oil pastels have had a chance to harden overnight.

Hope you have a lovely weekend.  Thanks for checking in ~

Oak Tree, Day 11

Oak Tree, Day 11



About Mary

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

21 Responses to 15 Day Challenge – Trees, Day 11

  1. Painting for Joy says:

    Somehow I missed this one! I apologize. (I’m not online every day). I love sunset silhouettes! Love your painting Mary. Wonderful sky!

  2. I love your silhouette, Mary! It’s really striking against the sky’s colors! 🙂

  3. poppytump says:

    Ah just lovely Mary . a very inspiring scene with gorgeous depth in those colours you’ve painted !
    Momentous sunburst
    Oak tree hides twilight secrets
    hushness wraps round us

    • Mary says:

      Poppy just love your writing, thank you for enjoying this piece. Based on your lovely Solstice photograph, you know so well those bursts of brilliant colors.

  4. ĽAdelaide says:

    I like this view with the sunset in back of the stately tree! Love the sky, don’t really see anything wrong! But isn’t that always the way? We’re so much more self-critical! Hoping the weather is great in your neck of the woods! xx

    • Mary says:

      Thank you for your beautiful comment Linda – I’m happy that you enjoyed this piece. I’m always critiquing my work, so yeah I’m always seeing something that could be improved upon. But I know sometimes you have to just let a painting be. We are thrilled today woke-up to rain – I hope it rains all day long, we are in severe drought here and this is going to help fill the lakes and reservoirs.

  5. prewitt1970 says:

    That is absolutely stunning, I love the colors.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Benjamin, from an artist who knows his colors – I really love and appreciate your feedback. Thanks very much – hope you have a beautiful weekend.

  6. Maria says:

    I can smell summer!! 🙂 it is beautiful!!

  7. Silhouettes for me at least, are tough to pull off. Yours is working:)

  8. mamie says:

    This is gorgeous!!! I love the metallic but calm look.

  9. Well Mary this particular piece has a totally different feel and mood not to mention the color scheme compared to your previous studies! I like the dark silhouette of the tree set against that beautifully colored sky where the setting sun is playing up those unbelievable colors, forms and shapes of the clouds! That touch of red, orange really warms up the overall darkness and draws my eye toward the setting sun, also the direction of the clouds conveyed by your brush strokes lead my eyes towards where the action is happening. This OP study is well balanced has a wonderful depth and coloring! That bottom left small misshaping is just a minor hick-up which can be corrected. Once in a while I take my brushes and paint too and I remember my teacher told us: always step back from your canvass and look, squeeze your eyes together just a bit and you’ll see better the balance of light and shadow, (even the color balance) then go back to your piece and work on it and repeat this action a few times! To this day I use this tactic even for my illustrations, it’s coming handy to correct out something what you will find on your work and helps to better your overall ability as an artist. I really enjoyed challenge no:11 and I can say probably this is my favorite piece from the 15 day challenge! Thanks for sharing and wish you a wonderful weekend also!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks so much Eva for your assessment and feedback, especially the tip of stepping back and assessing the painting (squinting is a fantastic easy way to check the values), it means a lot that you’ve taken your time to write. When I painted this yesterday, I was working under the time pressure of completing the tree study and I can see where taking my time, especially on the complexities of this piece, would have benefitted. I was able to achieve some nice color variations within the cloud structures, w/o creating mud, but looking at the painting today a few areas standout that need to be dressed up with some highlighting and then there is the lower-left cloud structure these two areas I’ll work on. The camera didn’t show it but there is a wide range of colors in the tree silhouette: black, sepia, indigo, magenta and a rusty-bronze brown – I was afraid of putting in too much by way of lighter values w/n the tree or it would begin to push the tree back into the dark clouds.

      Have a great weekend and enjoy our Summer Solstice!

  10. For some reason this seems absolutely perfect for a Summer Solstice! 😉 xx

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