M. Stephen Doherty

M. Stephen Doherty
The editor of Plein Air magazine at work

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Painting Intimate Woodland Scenes

I got interested in the idea of painting streams of water running through wooded scenes because there seemed to be an intimacy and privacy about those beautiful locations. I also wanted to explore some new ways of painting on location, so in some of the paintings so I deepened the mixtures of oil color so they would be dark, moody, and subtle; and I allowed the warm tone of the red iron oxide underpainting to accentuate the sunlit areas.

As I painted, I imagined the trees becoming figures bending over to see their reflections in the water like Narcissus, and the rocks as bathers dipping their toes in the water. That helped me emphasize the feelings associated with being in a quiet, remote place where the forces of nature are at work.