Trees, gate and path - Lea Bridge, Derbyshire

"Looking out of the Wood", near Lea Bridge, Derbyshire.
Oil. Alistair Butt © 2008.

I came across this view while out looking for blue bells - there was a lot of blue bells around, but in the woods that can be seen behind the gate. I wanted to capture the contrast between light, (the sun light on the grass path behind the gate) and the deep dark shadows (seen around the tree as well as the cast shadows in the foreground).

Having completed the under painting, as usual, this was done quite quickly.

The completed painting was then done in one session. This started with the dark tree branches followed by the larger areas of foliage and painting in the sky then followed by the fine leaves which is not ideal. The main tree truck followed, mainly painting in the light mid tone colours and some darks areas as the under painting was the correct colours for the dark mid tones.

The distant hills and trees followed, blending in places but mostly placing the lighter elements on the under painting.

Next to be completed were the stones walls, again painting the mid tones over the under painting before adding some highlights for example on the right hand wall.

This was followed by painting the sunlit grass path behind the gate before painting the ferns, bracken, blue bells etc on the left hand side. Most were painted over the under painting - this being a loose patchwork of colours to represent the background over which the grass, flowers etc are painted. The same technique was used for the right hand side once the path was painted.

The path was painted with the shadow mid tone colours painted first before working towards the light toned colours. Some stones etc were added to complete the painting.

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