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.
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.
Thank you imagination and memory.