Here’s a recent painting based on the Montville hinterlands: Misty Lake Through the Trees.
Chontele, Elora, and I spent a weekend there recently. We took a short walk around the estate and ended up at a secluded lookout. A lake glimmered in the distance, barely visible through the trees and mist. White light reflected off the water as if the lake itself was made of light.
It was one of those “I must paint this” moments.
Moments like this tend to strike when I am out exploring new places. I’m not sure why. It might be that my senses are heightened, making me more aware of the surrounding beauty. Or it might be that the best subjects are in hard-to-reach places.
Whatever the case, it pays to explore, wake up early, stay up late, venture through wind and rain, and go where others won’t go. You might be surprised at the inspiration you find.
This painting is also a great lesson in contrast and compressed values. The foreground is rich, textured, and diverse in color and light. The misty background is faint, bright, and the colors are compressed around the light end of the value range. Both areas are woven together by the overlapping trees, branches, and leaves. They appear distinct yet part of a whole. That’s the key to painting high-contrast scenes like this. It doesn’t matter how well you paint the individual parts if they don’t fit together as a whole.
Have a great week!