Officially autumn

Autumn is my favourite time to paint trees because of all the colours — ranging from subtle to garish — that I can dip into in my palette.  In Montreal, the trees are starting to turn and this one was outside my window at work. Deep yellow at the top, glowing orange in the middle, moving into green at the bottom. At first I tried painting it by wetting sections of the sketchbook paper but that just diluted the intensity of the colour so my second attempt was to paint large sections of pure colour with a flat brush. This in preparation to paint my favourite tree which will be ablaze in a few weeks. See it in 2013 and 2012.


14 Comments on “Officially autumn”

  1. Anders says:

    Wow, what a good surprise to check your page and contemplate your new works : ) Lovely leaves !!! It’s spring in Brazil but I really miss autumn.


  2. Meg says:

    Do you paint the trunk first or the foliage?


  3. Wonderful colors! I love trees and especially their colors in the fall.


  4. Wayne Bissky says:

    Hey Shari. This is a beautiful sketch, once again. One of the most difficult things for me is to simplify, simplify, but the results are typically the most beautiful and powerful as you have shown here.

    Sandy and I are doing well. After a quiet summer of work for me and gardening for her, we had another wonderful trip to Africa as you have seen on flickr.

    We are aware that it is an exceedingly rare privilege for us to visit these places. But each time, when we return, there are no words to describe our gratitude for being able to raise our families in this wonderful and rare country in which we live. And your posts of Canada are a constant reminder of this for me. Thank-you.

    Sent from my Wayne Bissky’s iPad.



    • Wayne, the reason I painted this tree was that I looked at one of yours on Flickr and was inspired to try to achieve the lightness that you do on your tree sketches, especially the Baobab. They just seem to float, to be made of light washes of glowing colour held together with a few well drawn branches. Mine always seem so heavy.
      I’m so glad you were able to find some time to sketch in Tanzania. I would love to hear more about your experience there but in the meantime I will content myself with enjoying the beauty and elegance of your work.
      Yes, we are so lucky to live here. There’s so much we take for granted and although it is a cliché to say this, we don’t appreciate it until we get away and see other places.
      I have been fortunate to paint in many places these past few years but I do love painting Canada best.


  5. Joan says:

    Fall is my favorite season. When the leaves turn from green to gold to red, I’m in heaven. I love the abstract way you’ve dealt with this lovely tree. We’re still having very hot (100F) days, no signs of fall in the high desert.


  6. Ross says:

    That happened quickly! In the past there have been those gradually-changing foliage paintings but suddenly (or so it seems) fall is here in full colour. Did I miss something?


    • You didn’t miss anything Ross. Most trees are just starting to turn but this one tree outside my window seemed to have moved along faster than the rest. We did have one really cold night (even ice on the windshield in the morning!) so that might have helped it along.


  7. Ross says:

    BTW, I love the treatment with those simple blocky shapes.


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