Another commission for birch trees: this one is an 18x24 acrylic on deep (2" cradled) wooden panel. Such an honor to be asked, and a pleasure to do this for great friends!
The reason I love the birch trees on wooden panel is the wood grain causes the watered down paint to spread horizontally, imitating the horizontal striations that naturally exist on these trees. See below.
I began by dripping paint down the panel, then turning it over and dripping it the other way. By letting the paint do it's thing, it produces kind of an organic, natural pattern. I don't think this would work for just any forest, but a birch forest doesn't have many lateral limbs- they are tall and skinny, mostly straight up and down.
Then I darkened the background of the forest, leaving some "light space" for trees in the foreground.
Color washing the foreground in:
... and the leaves... one of my new obsessions is what I unofficially call "back-painting", essentially painting around an object (or branch in this case)... instead of drawing in something, you paint what is behind it, and leave the object as negative space... does that make sense? this works ESPECIALLY well with leaves- it gives a soft look that implies light is coming through from behind.
Palette knife in almost abstract squares in the foreground.
I used a different palette knife stroke, almost a fan-like sideways spread for the leaves....
Finished, thought this shot is a little bright.
And a close shot:
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