Painting Dappled Light and Birches at Moose Point State Park

Dappled Light and Birches

While in Maine, I was fortunate enough to attend a painting demonstration by Marc Dalessio at the Haynes Gallery.  Aside from being the first demonstration to point out the dangers of painting outside (apples showered down as we sat beneath the tree to watch), it was one of the first where I could follow the whole painting process start to finish and understand all that was being a said.  I made sure I came away with 3 main points and some minor ones as well.

1) Values must be accurate and made  with ease.
2) Drawing with contour lines is a must to outline things accurately and quickly before the light changes.
3) The process is to work from big shapes to small, watered down paint to thicker paint, dark to light.

Of course all of these things look easy to do, but are harder when in the field.  So today I tried them. 

I went to Moose Point State Park, where there is any combination of woods, sea, or field to paint,, and ended up painting birch trees in dappled light.  I blocked in the main shapes, starting with the darks.  Then I added the lights, paying attention to the warms and cools.  

I learned how the birches are either very warm or very cool, but are seldom just white.  I also learned dappled light, while fun and beautiful, is hard to keep track of.  And woods themselves are difficult to paint with all the visual detail you have to simplify.    But the perks of having chipmunks and squirrels watching you paint and chattering at you or just standing in the woods breathing in a combination of sea air and pine needles is invigorating.  Being the slow painter I am, I didn't get more than a rough study done.  But for my first dappled light experience, I am very pleased. 


Anonymous said…
Great use of light!
Anonymous said…
Great use of light!