Wet Paint - Rising Sun

Rising Sun, oil/panel, 36"x36"

I was struck by how this tree was much more than an object, it was very much a presence. After doing several studies of this new motif, I came to this solution. I wanted a heightened sense of color and light to convey the life and power of this tree.

Observe the cool blues and greens that are placed in the reflected light of the shadow of this tree. These touches of the sky color affect the top sides of the branches as well as the main trunk of the tree which helps to give it roundness and anchor it in it's space.

Here, the sunlit portion of the pine needles is made more intense by placing complimentary pieces of paint to act as a foil to the warm orange light. If you notice the complimentary colors are kept in the same value in the light and lowered in the shadow to keep the 2 groups, light and shadow, separate. The light has it's particular family of color and values as does the shadow.

This is an extreme close-up of a tiny section of the painting where the tree root meets and merges into the ground. The mingled color here is kept fresh by not over mixing on the palette but rather letting the color blend and fuse within previous passages on the painting.

The same approach works here in the deep shadow, variations of warm and cooler passages kept in the same value.


  1. Fantastic painting Peter! Love the vibrant colours, and the close-ups with explanations are so useful....and inspiring!

    Your blog is today's favourite!

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. Excellent work, I love the blog.

  3. Not only is this a great painting but the description is fantastic - thank you for explaining your thoughts, process and approach. I'm sure a great many, including myself, will learn from this. You've certainly captured the 'life and power' of this tree, it's brimming with energy in the colour, texture and brushstrokes. Delighted to have found your blog :)