Take #2 – WIP

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:

WIP – Cherry Trees

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.


  1. It reminds me a little of the moat surrounding the castle at Hirosaki during hanami (flower-viewing festival). It’s surrounded by cherry trees of various kinds and when the petals fall it’s like pink and white snow floating on the water. The moat also has swans. πŸ™‚ Lovely choice of subject and the composition has a good flow to it that made me think specifically of that combination of petals floating on water.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I will work with those ideas in mind as I finish it. Maybe I will listen to some lovely Japanese music. I’ve always been drawn (no pun intended) toward Japanese and Chinese art. This is something I want to explore more. And maybe soon I’ll get brave enough to try sumi-e. I’ve had that set for a year now and I’m still hesitant to use it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I got two Asian art books for my birthday, one specifically on sumi-e, and the other on Chinese and Korean painting in general. I intend to sit down with them today and then pull out my new Japanese paints. So, I am right there with you, and I might give it a try myself! ^_^ I’ll probably review the books on my blog, too. Just a question of time.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you like it. I’ll have more work to do on it before I call it finished. I definitely want to add more light to places, refine the trees just a bit. Overall, I’m much happier with this painting than with my first try at painting cherry trees.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I’m much happier with the newer painting. The colors are better, and I like not having the blue sky showing through. Art is very much a process of experimentation for me. I just keep trying things until I come up with something I really like. πŸ™‚


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