Thursday, December 13, 2007


I've been enjoying the freedom to do some smaller work the past couple of days. The nice thing about working small is that I can finish an 8x10" or 9x12" study while Aspen takes her afternoon nap, which means I can paint on days when I don't have a babysitter! Also, working on small paintings is more fun and less pressure, since I don't really mind if I have to trash a small panel or scrape an hour's work.

As I was working on a couple of these smaller paintings, I took some progress shots just to prove that I'm not always as analytical and methodical about my painting process as I am when I work large.

This first study is a 10x8" of some aspens in the fall. First step is a rough sketch in thinned paint. This study is mostly about color, so I'm not too concerned with the drawing.

Next I block in the general area of the yellow aspen leaves. This is probably the only time I'll ever paint something other than the sky first! I just did this to make sure my yellow stays nice and clean.

Next, I block in the sky with thinned paint.

Then, the rest of the foreground.

And finally, I go back in with thicker paint and add texture and refine everything.

About an hour and I'm finished. This is just a study to see if it's a subject I might want to do slightly larger, so I won't do any more work on this one. I think it might work better in a slightly taller format so that I can exaggerate the height of the taller tree - maybe a 16x12"?


  1. Nice of you to keep stopping as you're painting and photograph it for us. Always interesting to see a painting as it progresses. Thanks, Barb

  2. Really nice, Stacey. From the last image, I would have guessed it was much larger than 8x10. I would not have thought of blocking in the bright yellow foliage first, but it makes perfect sense. Thanks for the demo!

  3. Barb - it was easy to photograph the progress since I still had the tripod set up in my studio!

    Joe - I've tried to paint yellow aspen leaves over a blue sky before and was not happy with the result (a greenish tint to the leaves)!!

  4. Oh. I was hoping before reading that the purple stuff in the first picture was Aspen's first major work of art.