More on unifying aspen trees with other parts of the painting

“In Time for Fall” 11×14 Oil

In this aspen painting, I added my own daughter! She was wearing a black and white dress when she was modeling for me, but I decided to change it because I thought the blue-violet would go better with the yellow-greens of the foliage. To unify her into the painting, I repeated her dress color into the ground in the form of suggested flowers. Also, in the beginning underpainting, I blocked in the most distant trees with violet, which shows through a little and also repeats the blue-violet.

Click on the image to enlarge and notice the soft edges on Kim’s hair and dress where she practically blends into the background. This unifies her with the background and doesn’t give the feeling of her just being stuck on there, like I had cut her out with scissors.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that it has given you food for thought! My next post will have a step-by-step aspen painting done en plein air, so stay tuned.

Don’t forget about my three upcoming landscape workshops. The first one is coming up November 8-9th in Rockwall, Texas. See more details on my web site,, under Exhibits, Events and Classes. Besides working on how to “bend a color” to unify paintings, we will also work on “What does the painting need?” How to step back and analyze what will make a successful painting after you have been true to the photo you are painting from. Of course, we will be painting aspen trees one of the two days!

Also, if you are in the Dallas area, don’t miss my oil demonstration for the Richardson Civic Art Society on October 17th at the Richardson Public Library. See details on my web site under Exhibits, Events and Classes. I will be demonstrating an aspen painting in oil.