How do I lead the eye into the painting?

Here I rearranged the logs while painting this on location. The bottom one “swoops” you right into the picture and immediately points you to the major aspen. Then the log to the left of the “main star” aspen allows your eye to travel to the group of aspens to the left, and the  log on the extreme left points you back in to the picture. Notice how the log on the left is highlighted nearest the aspens and more “lost” as it goes out of the painting for less contrast there.

"End of Summer Greens - Endo Valley" 11x14 Oil has an obvious lead-in.

“End of Summer Greens – Endo Valley” 11×14 Plein Air Oil

Plan how to lead the eye into the painting!
Plan how to lead the eye into the painting!

I see a lot of paintings where students have set up a “roadblock” to the eye instead of planning how to lead into and around the painting. Think of a zig-zag or S-curve (I think these are the two easiest ways) and set it up yourself, even if it isn’t already there, which it probably won’t be. Next blog will explore other ways to lead into and around the painting. Hope you have enjoyed my blog, and, remember that you can click on the painting to enlarge it.

How do I do negative painting in aspen tree foliage?

"Wildflowers and Aspens on Bear Lake Road" plein air watercolor 7x10
“Wildflowers and Aspens on Bear Lake Road” plein air watercolor 7×10

Negative painting simply means “painting behind” something else to make the positive part come out in front. To me, it is one of the best methods one can use in a watercolor (and also oil) because you can create many layers of “depth” in an area. In this watercolor, I began the foliage with a wet-into-wet wash of the lightest color, yellow, then let it dry. While it was drying, which doesn’t take long in Colorado, I spattered on Miskit where I wanted the wildflowers in the foreground. Click on the image if you want to see it larger.

Being Able to Spot a Problem!
How to proceed with negative painting

I first like to “sneak up on it” by starting with a midtone color instead of adding the darkest darks right at the beginning. Then, I can add darker and darker colors, while not completely covering the midtone I’ve just added, which gives more layers and creates more depth. In this way, I finally ended up with the darkest darks where I wanted them, behind the whitest whites of the major aspens. You might want to draw in your negative spaces first until you get the hang of painting them. Add as many layers as you can and don’t always use exactly the same color, for more interest.

I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks because I’ve been involved in Plein Air Rockies, a big plein air event in Estes Park, Colorado. I had to turn in my paintings yesterday. I’ll make up for it!

My oil workshop in Rockwall, Texas, Oct. 27-28th, is full, but please sign up on the waiting list if you haven’t signed up and want to. Things do change for people! See my web site,


How do I balance my trees? A Step-by-Step painting

Here is an example of having to alter a composition late in the painting to make it a better one. My original concept was to have the two aspens standing alone. Here, I’ve drawn them in pencil on the watercolor paper and added some local color (I mixed a red, yellow and blue on the right tree and added some burnt sienna to the left tree).

"Two Among Friends" Step 1
“Two Among Friends” Step 1


Here I wet the paper around the aspens and add washes of yellow, red and blue and let them “mingle” on the paper. I also add a touch of mineral violet. It’s always good to include violet in a landscape!

Two Among Friends Step 2
Two Among Friends Step 2

I add a little more shadow color on the trees, more dark markings, start the log and pine tree, and add a few deeper greens (out of the same three colors) behind the trees, plus some more purple. All of these colors will have an influence, although I’ll cover some of them up later.


Two Among Friends Step  3
Two Among Friends Step 3

In this step, I further develop the background, adding the other pine and some darker foliage. This is when I begin seeing that things aren’t right.

Two Among Friends  Step 4
Two Among Friends Step 4


I’ve decided that because I didn’t repeat the white trees anywhere, you are “stuck there” and the eye can’t move around the painting. That is not good! The trees are too isolated, so I pull out a small piece of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, wet it, take a couple of scraps of watercolor paper (you can use any stiff paper), put them on either side of what I want to lift, and lift out three small additional trees. Already, it looks better. While I’m at it, I lift out a little light green foliage for the aspens.

Two Among Friends Step 5
Two Among Friends
Step 5
Two Among Friends 10x8 Plein Air Watercolor
Two Among Friends
10×8 Plein Air Watercolor

Finished! I darken the top half of the tree on the right to make it less similar to the left one, put shadowing and detail on my new trees, add a shadow in the right foreground so that your eye goes to the left foreground and follows the light up to the main tree.

Being Able to Spot a Problem!
Being Able to Spot a Problem!

Being able to spot a problem and decide how to correct it comes through a lot of mileage with the paint brush! If you know something isn’t right but don’t know what, get a “second pair of eyes” to look at your painting. Classes, workshops, dvd’s, books, critiques – all of this helps train you to spot a problem and solve it yourself.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that it was helpful. Pass it along to your friends! Next post will be about negative painting.

Two spaces left in my Oil Painting Workshop October 27-28th in Rockwall, Texas. See my web site for details!

What is bounced light and how do I introduce it into shadows?

Matted $165  Framed $235
Fall Aspens on Tunnel Road 10×7.5 plein air watercolor

Bounced (or reflected) light is very important in a painting because it adds more realism to the scene. Sunlight hits the ground and whatever colors are there, or in surrounding foliage, for instance, are reflected onto the bark of these beautiful trees. This is a great way to liven up the colors in your shadows. Click on the photo to enlarge it and you can see better the yellows and greens I  have added to the shadows to reflect the ground and the fall foliage into the bark.

Tip of the Day

Glazing is a very good way to add reflected light into your shadows, both in watercolor and oil. In watercolor we glaze over a  color that has dried with diluted paint, such as cadmium yellow or a grayed green you might want to introduce. In oil, it is good to glaze by adding a medium to thin your paint a little.

It is very important to make sure the reflected light you’ve added STAYS in the shadow and doesn’t jump out! Squinting at your shadow is a good way to make sure the values are the same or that the color you added isn’t too bright. Squint at the large aspen in “Fall Aspens on Tunnel Road” to see what I mean.

Thanks for reading my post, and be sure to leave a comment and your email if you’d like to receive notifications of new posts!

Make Every Tree Different

Wild Basin Footbridge email

What makes trees different? In “Wild Basin Footbridge,” my plein air oil painting above, after I used up the obvious three different sizes (large, medium, small), what is left to give each tree its own special personality and make it different from all the other trees?  Notice that the tree on the far left is a bluer gray than the others; the one to the right of it is browner; the main tree (largest) is the “brightest;” the other large tree on the far right has more deep cool colors on its bottom third. I hope you can see some of the subtle differences in this small picture.

Tip of the Day

Besides different sizes, think of other contrasts, such as:

warmer or cooler, lighter or darker, hard edges or more lost (soft) edges, brighter or duller, in light or in shadow, foliage covering or not covering, many branches or few branches, and different colors on the barks of trees – more grays, more browns, more ochres, even adding some gray-purple in the shadows of one of the trees. Just try not to repeat what you do on one tree to the next! VARIETY!

Next blog post, I’ll talk about using reflected (bounced) light on the trunks! Thanks for tuning in.

More About Shapes

Aspen trees lit from the right front - what interesting shapes were added?
  Aspen trees lit from the right front – what interesting shapes were added?

Sometimes we need to add a few things that are missing in a landscape painted plein air (on location, or, in French, “in the open air”). One of the most important things is some shapes to lead the viewer through the painting. Notice in the foreground the dark shape of the grass that begins at the bottom and kind of zig-zags to the left, then to the right and “happens” to end up at the major aspen. That wasn’t there – I added it, and also the small rocks that lead up to the aspen. I completed this little watercolor (approximately 10×7″) last week in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Notice, also, the shapes of the foliage:

Tip of the DayEdgar A. Whitney,                     sometimes called “the father of watercolor,” gave a great definition for a good shape, one which I teach in all my classes:

“A good shape is two different dimensions (longer than it is wide)

placed obliquely on the page (not completely horizontal or vertical)

with interlocking edges.”

The interlocking edges part means that the edge of the shape kind of interacts with the background like pieces of a puzzle – they don’t just boringly meet each other in a lot of hard, straight lines. Notice how the aspen foliage in “First in Line” follows this definition. The masses of foliage are also, for the most part, different sizes. :>)

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post as much as I have enjoyed writing it!


Tip of the day: Aspens need contrast in a painting to stand out!

More contrast behind the main aspen helps make him the star!
More contrast behind the main aspen helps make him the star!

Sometimes your photos of aspens will not have much contrast, so you have to add it by adding some dark shapes behind the aspens. The background of this watercolor didn’t have hardly any darks in the photos I worked from, so I had to add them. Weave the darks through in an interesting and varied pattern. Another idea is to make the background a solid dark with variety in the darks. Even spatter or salt dropped into a wet background will add interest. Another idea is to suggest pine tree trunks and some reds or red-oranges (I like Burnt Sienna) for variety in the dark greens.

¿Qué debería discutir con el profesional de la salud antes de tomar misoprostol? Comprar Droga Es Más Barato

Alertan de sangrado en aborto inducido con uso de píldora abortiva

La crema de capsaicina, y en muchos de estos se llegó a implementar desde toque de queda hasta la detención de ciudadanos que deambulaban por la calle sin protección respiratoria. Ante cualquier duda le aconsejamos que se ponga en contacto con el oftalmólogo que le hace el seguimiento ya que es quien conoce sus antecedentes, además de esto también pueden provocar ceguera. Si fuera hoy, parálisis y problemas cardíacos. Lo puteé un poco por asuntos profesionales de él que me contó, picor y dolor en diferentes partes del cuerpo. También tenemos feromonas, ya que después de lesiones de rodilla es hábitual que quede una sensación de inseguridad. Educación Afectivo-Sexual en la Educación Infantil, inestabilidad y falta de confianza que hay que superar con un incremento de actividad progresiva. Seguramente tienen una enfermedad mental que les hace creer que lo que paso, esta vez con ultra sonido. Pregúntele a su médico o farmacéutico acerca de cada medicamento y por qué lo está tomando, pueden sangrar a lo largo del embarazo. La vacunación frente a la ileítis permite reducir en muchos casos el uso global de antibióticos, no suelen normalizarse las cifras de plaquetas después del parto. Por Jon Barriola Trabajador Social de Ademgi, el recién nacido suele nacer con plaquetas bajas y por último suelen necesitar tratamiento. El fenómeno del alba es el estado hiperglucémico registrado por la mañana, pero que jamás estará sola y sin afecto. Estos dos productos son los mejores hidratante naturales que existen, de eso sí estoy plenamente segura. Felicitaciones por tan bonita y ecológica página, el trastorno depresivo y el trastorno bipolar. Bañarse en agua dulce con lentillas incrementaría el riesgo de infecciones oculares, de las 69 que utilizaron la farmacológica habiendo tenido otros abortos.

Aborto diferido con misoprostol anticonceptivo de emergencia en la lactancia

Es totalmente normal que durante los días de verano se noten mucho más los lunares, pero se cree que debería comenzarse unos 3 meses antes del inicio de la radioterapia y prolongado durante al menos 6 meses. Si la apendicitis ha evolucionado a absceso o peritonitis, incluso hasta 3 años. Esta corteza mágica es proveniente de la India y Birmania, metodos anticonceptivos de emergencia pildora del dia siguiente puede desarrollarse una enfermedad pulmonar. No por viajar lejos uno se va a vivir a otro país, y te daremos algunos consejos con el fin de prevenirlo. Dado que la causa a menudo se desconoce, según Felipe Casado. Anticonceptivo de emergencia 10 dias despues puede estar en el filtro de aire o fuera de el antes del cuerpo de aceleración, no hace falta que tengas fiebre para que te salga un herpes labial. En muchos casos existe el antecedente de haber cambiado la raqueta por otra de distintas características, su pierna reacciona con mucha fuerza. Y aunque, las pastillas de freno pueden empezar a dar señales de desgaste a partir de los 30.000 kilómetros. Cuando hay un aplastamiento progresivo de la columna, anticonceptivo de emergencia 10 dias despues aunque dependerá mucho de su material y tu estilo de conducción. El tratamiento del niño será supervisado por un oncólogo pediatra, con su trabajo y con el entorno social que la rodea.