Woods on fire

This really is the week to paint autumn colours, at least in Montreal. We are enjoying some warm days, and the yellows are at their brightest. The other day I painted this scene from Angell Woods in monochrome, and then took it a step further by painting it in colour and just slightly larger (16″ x 12″ on a block of Winsor & Newton Rough paper). I wasn’t really intending on having it this yellow/orange but somehow the colours outside my studio window made their way onto my brush.

My intention was to create a contrast between warm (the foliage, both on the trees and on the ground) and cool (the houses in shade and tree trunks). Here’s a photo of what the painting looks like on my easel as I set up the warms and cools.

Here’s the finished painting.

My value sketch was nearby as I painted, and it was a really helpful reference. There were a few details in the composition that I adjusted as I went from monochrome to colour, but the major one is the size and placement of the foreground trees.

31 Comments on “Woods on fire”

  1. beth says:

    So beautiful


  2. nanci says:

    I love seeing the three phases of your painting. This is a new idea for me and it’s very instructive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nanci, I’ve been using this method for many years (values first, colour second) and it is really helpful, especially when the composition is a bit complex like this one. So give it a try and see if it works for you!


  3. Fall used to be my favorite time of the year and you captured the beauty of the season. (Fall is not so noticeable in Queensland, Australia) The three stages of the painting is interesting to see. It really came together in the final piece.


  4. Denise says:

    Amazing transformation!


  5. twwhatnot says:

    The painting sings of a crisp, perfect autumn day. Beautiful! Tom


  6. This is stunning work! Love love love the colors and brushwork~


  7. Bernadette says:

    Exquisite! The three steps of your development are really helpful and a perfect guide for us to follow. I’m encouraged to get out while the colors are still strong. Thanks for posting.


  8. Linda Murray says:

    Beautiful, Shari, just beautiful!


  9. Tina Koyama says:

    I really appreciate seeing your process steps. So informative! Thank you! And beautiful painting! I love the value study, too.


  10. Mary Bastedo says:

    This is so helpful to see the three versions side by side. Thanks Shari for sharing your process.


  11. Laura Kate says:

    Beautiful painting. I would love to visit Quebec in autumn. Maybe someday.


  12. Beautiful Fall Scene.


  13. Dorothy Greenidge says:

    Thanks for this post. I really enjoy your comments on the process and your thinking. Cheers!


  14. This one just shouts Autumn!!! Glad to see the stages too. Beautiful!


  15. sue fenyvesi says:

    I love it when you show the monochromatic tones and then the next steps, I need to try to work with Paynes grey more.


  16. Tanvi Buch says:

    I love the steps you share in creating this painting, Shari. Do you create large puddles of premixed colors (all that I see in the first step) so you can just dip? Or are you dipping your brush in the pigment and letting them mix on the paper?


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