When I first tried painting a scene of cherry trees in bloom, it didn’t go well. You saw that ugly painting a couple days ago. Now, many of you liked it, some of you pointed out that ugly can be interesting, and some of you actually called it beautiful. That’s the thing about art, you know. We each see things differently. We each have different likes and dislikes, and maybe we’re always most critical of our own work.
I still have that ugly painting sitting on the drying rack. I can turn around, look at it, and consider what’s good and what’s bad — and there’s definitely a bit of both in it.
Remember that you’re not seeing all of the canvas. That grassy area extended downward and that was probably the ugliest part of the painting.
I wasn’t happy with the color of my foliage. These were intended to be delicate pink blossoms. I’m still not sure how I got so far off on my colors.
As I planned for another try at this, I knew I’d want to compose the scene a bit differently, to try to limit the grassy area at the bottom, and of course, to get my colors more accurate. I decided I also wanted to get rid of the blue sky. It was all right, I suppose, but it detracted from the color scheme I wanted to work with.
Another change I made was to go down to a slightly smaller canvas panel. Instead of a 16 x 20, I used an 11 x 14 panel. Here’s what I’ve done this morning:
I’m much happier with my colors, and I think the grassy area with flowers will be better now. I have a lot of work to do on the painting, lots of lights and shadows to think about, lots of little tweaks to make that will, I hope, bring this painting to life and make it beautiful.
I’m definitely much happier with this version. The photo was taken on my easel with the paint still quite fresh, so there’s a lot of glare. I am incorporating my “impasto” brush strokes — that’s become part of my personal oil painting style.
This painting may also fall short of my hopes, and if it does, no problem. I’ll try it again. Regardless of how it turns out, I think it’s a step in the right direction. Practice makes progress, and if I paint enough cherry trees, sooner or later I’ll end up with something I like!
I hope you like where this painting is going.