Imagination and Memory

Sometimes I have reference photos for paintings that are the wrong season of the year, you know like in winter where there are no leaves on the trees. I don’t really want to paint trees like that but of course I could if it was an enchanting, snowy scene. Sadly, most of my winter photos are not enchanting.

So. Enter imagination.

 Reference Photo

Reference Photo

If I had painted this painting closer to the photo, you would have seen lots of black tree branches and not much to lead your eye through the painting. I knew before I started that I would need to use a little imagination.

What drew me to take the photo was the clump of reddish brush in the front left. I really loved that. And the water hiding in amongst the trees.

Before I began painting, I created a small thumbnail value study to see where to put the lights, darks and highlights.

When it came time to add color to the values I had some decisions to make. Did I want a spring like painting with lots of greens and yellow, or a fall scene with the beautiful golds and oranges and reds that happen that time of year.

Because of my aforementioned attraction to the red brush, I decided to go with a fall color palette, imagining what it might look like if the leaves were in full color and the grass was putting on its gold in preparation for winter.

 Hidden Pond © Beth Cole Pastel on Paper - SOLD

Hidden Pond © Beth Cole Pastel on Paper - SOLD

Thank you imagination and memory.