My husband (an amateur photographer) and I can often be seen out and about in Cornwall looking for inspiration. Often we will drive past a lane, park and wander up it to see where it goes!
On one such inspiration search, we found this lovely bridleway running up beside a farm near Godolphin. I really fancied having a go at a large painting and decided on a 100 x 50cm canvas which is the largest I'd ever painted!
I started by doing a very loose under painting using very watered down burnt umber and idantherene blue.
It was great sketching this out in such a loose way and the painting seemed to take shape straight away.
I then lay down the colours quite quickly and loosely over the top. It was already feeling 3 dimensional but I still had a looooong way to go!
The sky had to be done next as a lot of the trees would be overlapping it, I spent quite a lot of time getting that rich, turquoise blue that Cornish skies have and the puffy clouds.
There are a surprising amount of shades and colours that make up a 'white' cloud!
Next I worked on the lovely patchwork of fields in the background.
There needed to be the suggestion of trees and bushes separating the fields.
I started working on the bushes in the foreground on the left hand side. Here you can see the details of the veins in the leaves and the light catching them
I had to build up many layers of twigs and branches in the bare bush on the left hand side.
More foreground leaves
Many layers of twigs and branches had to be applied..
I then concentrated on the trees farther back and the dark bushes receding back out of the painting.
Next to be painted were the bushes on the right hand side. These were mostly in shadow with little highlights where the sun was breaking through.
I then worked on the path with it's deep, muddy furrows made by the farm vehicles with grass in between . I was very mindful of there being more detail nearer the front of the painting to show depth. I looked very carefully at the way the sunlight was coming through the bushes, creating dappled light on the path
I still wasn't happy with the scrubby bush on the left so i tackled it again. In this case less is more definitely did not apply! It needed many, many layers.
Finally it was time to put in the twisty, gnarly tree on the right. It was quite nerve wracking painting over so much of what I had already painted!
A detail showing the complex, twisted branches.
Finally it was done! Phew! It took over 40 hours of painting and was a real labour of love! I love the mysterious quality to it. Where does the path lead? Should you stay on the path? It is for the viewer to decide...