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Autumnal Woodland by Marion BE

Submit an Entry: Your Favorite 2011 Paintings

By Marion BE

Autumnal Woodland by Marion BE

"Autumnal Woodland".

Autumnal Woodland by Marion BE

Detail from painting

What I Used for This Painting

Acrylic on canvas. 60x40cm. Colors used: titanium white and an iridescent white, golden ochre, Prussian blue, raw umber, cadmium red, and four greens -- green gold, Hooker’s green, olive green, and perylene green (which is really a black pigment but works as a gorgeously dark green).

Why This Painting is My Favorite from 2011

I think this painting has to count as my absolute favourite from 2011 because I changed my mind about selling it and instead have it hung up at home. It's part of a series inspired by natural woodlands in the Scottish Highlands. This painting built on its predecessors, the mixture of happy accident and deliberate mark making.

I first painted the background, with the canvas propped up on the shorter edge so that any paint which ran would ultimately be parallel to the longer edge and "read" as undulations in the land. This was done in layers, some left to dry before applying another color, some working wet on wet. Once this was completely, I tore strips of masking tape to create the trees, painted them, carefully pulled off the tape while the paint was still wet and tweaked a few places.

It's varnished with semi-gloss, rather than a matte varnish, to retain some of the the shine from the iridescent white. It doesn't really show in the photo, but when the light is at an angle, there's a shimmer in parts of the background that gives a sense of flecks of sunlight.

Lessons Learned

  • Every painting builds on what you've learned from the ones that came before, though this doesn't mean every new painting will be better. Hope for it but allow for failure and don't beat yourself up when it happens.
  • Flashback: my favorite painting in 2010 (A Portrait) and 2009 (A Seascape).
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