Artists who reference only photographs are missing out on a lot. As useful as photos are, they typically capture only a fraction of what the eye can see.
This is especially true with forest interiors. In a typical photo, the camera interprets the green as a single monochromatic color. The tree trunks sink to black.
In this detail of the photo above, the layers of leaves compress into a jumble of shapes. The blue sky bleaches to white and burns out the openings of the leaves.
Such a scene would look different to an observer. With with our stereoscopic vision, rapid depth focusing, and incredible tolerance of brightness differences, our eyes interpret the scene with far more nuance. Let's see what we can learn by looking at painters who specialized in this very challenging subject.
Although he paints every leaf in the foreground, the distant spaces are filled with variety of colors and edges. Some of the leaves are suggested with a stipple technique, made with a splayed brush. Softness is alternated with crispness throughout. The branches do not go to black, but retain some of their local color.
Here's Ivan Shishkin again, the fellow who painted the weed study in the opening post of the series. This time he's interpreting a coni Display Comments Add a Comment