A Tasmanian Eucalypt Forest - 38" X 36" - OOC

edited June 9 in Post Your Paintings
This is at the top of the track down to Fossil Cove. It was high summer so the track was hot, dry and dusty.

I'm not sure if our funny trees will make much sense to folks who are unfamiliar with them. They are gracile, with patches of bright colour on their bark, but they have an untidy growth habit. Just about everything in the scene, apart from some patches of bark, was some shade of grey. But that's what dry eucalypt forests are like. Colour mixing was difficult. With all those greys it was hard to get the values and chroma right.

This photo was taken at night under less than ideal lighting. I've tried (in Affinity Photo) to get rid of the glare at the top and down the sides from my studio lights but without much success. It will look better when I take a photo in daylight tomorrow. 

There are still a few details to adjust but, anyway, I got the canvas covered tonight and was hoping for some feedback. I was rushing to finish it and post it because I'm having another stint in hospital from Monday and will be out of action for a while. 

Thanks for looking and commenting.  :)




  • Love your tree paintings and this one is no exception! Looks wonderful to me :)
  • Wow. How long does it take you to cover a canvas like this?
  • So much to take in! It's a brilliant piece of art. 
  • Thanks, @Richard_P, @adridri and @jay80

    @adridri, this one took me nearly two weeks. I paint 10 -12 hours every day so, roughly, it took about 120 hours to get this far with it. That's not counting the time I spent in the planning and preparation stages.  :)
  • I forget to add in the OP that this is a big painting so right click, select open in new tab and zoom in for a closer look.  :)
  • This is one of your best.  It exudes an untamed nature effect.  It holds up great under closeup up scrutiny too.  I love all the colors and brushwork on the tree trunks.  Superb!
  • Beautiful I love the red accents on the tree trunks!
  • This is stunning and deserves to be big and hung low almost as a trompe l'oiel so you feel like you can step into the bush.
    I'm sure it's too late, but the colours are so south-east Australian bush that I would have loved an accompanying photograph of your palette with all the paint mixes. I've never thought of it before, but I'm tempted to do that with my next painting (which I think will be en plein air) - the painting accompanied by a photo of the messy palette. Somehow that's part of the art and really powerful for realism because it deconstructs the painting and emphasises the magic of the process.
  • edited June 9
    What's identifiable about your style is that you rarely paint masses. You tend paint dabs that make up the mass. They are like your pixels. It's a reflection of your love of the disintegration of the whole into the abstraction. In this much of the bark and leaf debris is almost outlined. The trees themselves here don't follow that and they are genuinely photographic and dimensional*. Beautiful mastery of values.
    * Not implying that the ground isn't equally good.
  • edited June 9
    Thanks very much, @GTO, @RUEGA and @Abstraction. I really appreciate your feedback.

    @Abstraction,  I don't mix lots of strings anymore.   I start off by mixing, say, a very dark warm green and a very dark cool green. Same for the other colours. I modify the value and chroma of these colours on the fly as needed.  By the end of the day my palette is a mess so there'd be no point in photographing it.   I scrape it down so it's nice and clean for the next session. After the first session with a new painting, I know by heart the colour scheme of the painting and how to quickly mix the colours needed.  I block in the darkest dark masses first to get a feel for the overall placement of things.  Then work dark to light adding detail on top of the dark masses with little, if any, blending. Hence my "dash-ism".  I use a lot of abstraction in areas like the leaf litter and bark on the ground.

    I know this is not the strict DMP method (which I used to follow to the letter and still recommend) but it seems to work for me these days and saves me time.  

    Thanks again for your kind words.  :)

  • This is stunning and inspiring!
  • Looks even better. It really does look amazing Rob. I agree with the others this is one of your best.
  • Thanks very much, @Richard. :)

     I really worked hard on this one. I wanted it to be good because I won't be doing another for a while. I go into hospital again on Monday for yet another operation so I'll be out of action for a while. I'll have my phone in the hospital so I'll still be able to log in to DMP to follow what's happening.  :)
  • Same superlatives as above.

    The red in the centre is bold and surprising. It's helped by the yellow on the right. They give my eye somewhere to return to while it roams over the rest of the scene.

    The plane of the trees in front of the rear brush is subtle but builds the more I look at it.

    I took the blue patches top left to be sky. I'm delighted to find they're leaves! An Easter Egg as I think gamers would say.

    I'm surprised by your title which suggests to me pools of dark with luminous highlights. Your contrast appears less pronounced and unstructured (perfect for your subject). I'm much more struck by the bark, on the trees and in the underbrush. Colour, tone, shape, dryness, crispiness... everything. Your opening remarks focus on the bark too. 

    Thank you.
  • I have to say Rob this is one of your very finest. You nailed the red bark perfectly. And those blue leaves too. This is probably the best representation of typical Australian bush I have seen. I can smell it. 
  • Thanks, @Roxy. Much appreciated.

    The smell of a eucalypt forest is very distinctive. A friend who saw the painting yesterday said the same thing as you - he said he could smell it.

    So, I'm really pleased folks think it works.  :)
  • "Tasmanians are facing a frosty long weekend with snow possible in some Hobart suburbs as antarctic winds batter the island state and parts of southern Victoria.

    Cold fronts will also see temperatures plummet elsewhere in eastern Australia, with sub-zero temperatures expected in parts of regional Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT, the Bureau of Meteorology says."

    Sounds like a snowy forest is next! Brrr...!

  • Beautiful painting @tassieguy. love the reds and blue colors :)
  • edited June 9
    Thanks very much, @ArtGal. I was worried that people unfamiliar with our forests would think it looks weird. I'm glad you think it works.  :)

    @Richard_P, it's freezing here. Wind, rain and snow. I was watching snow fall on my house yesterday and worrying that our drive would get snowed in. Fortunately, it didn't settle. But there's already lots of snow on the mountain. Last year, when I was doing the mountain series, it wouldn't snow for me. This year the snow is early. It sometimes snows at sea level here so I might get to do Fossil Cove under snow, lol.

     I envy you guys enjoying the northern summer. Hope you're making the most of it.  Europe and England are wonderful in summer.  I once got sunburned in London.  :)
  • tassieguy said:
    Thanks, @Richard_P, @adridri and @jay80

    @adridri, this one took me nearly two weeks. I paint 10 -12 hours every day so, roughly, it took about 120 hours to get this far with it. That's not counting the time I spent in the planning and preparation stages.  :)
    Something that seems more relevant to me when we can easily see finished paintings online, and speeded up youtube videos of the painting process. It can take a lot of time.. Yet, I sometimes feel that these videos and images give us the impression that our paintings can be done in a few hours or days and that's not always true.
  • edited June 9
    You are so right, @Richard_P.  People sometimes have this crazy idea that artists can whip up a masterpiece on a Sunday afternoon.  They have no idea of the planning and the many hours of physical  work involved in realizing a large painting. To say nothing of the years spent leaning how to paint.  They think artists are just born talented and so painting is easy for them.  If only. :)
  • Ohhh @tassieguy it's breathtaking.  I'm afraid it's a new favorite tassieguy painting for me (I change my mind almost every time you post!) 

    SoCal resident here, I'm very familiar with and fond of eucalyptus trees. :)  Maybe that's another reason why your painting holds a special delight for me.

    The light, life, and color (there is excellent realistic color you captured despite what may have felt all grey while mixing), is so soft and beautiful, yet confident.  

    You worked hard on this and it shows.  
  • tassieguy said:
    You are so right, @Richard_P.  People sometimes have this crazy idea that artists can whip up a masterpiece on a Sunday afternoon.  They have no idea of the planning and the many hours of physical  work involved in realizing a large painting. To say nothing of the years spent leaning how to paint.  They think artists are just born talented and so painting is easy for them.  If only. :)
    I agree @tassieguy.  

    Not many people seem to understand that it is labor in the extreme!!!  Not just a fun little skill I can do when I feel like I have a spare hour.
  • This looks even better in the new photo under bright light.  The tree trunks are even more tactile in this photo.
    What camera and lens do you use to take photos like this?
  • edited June 10
    Thanks, @allforChrist for you kind words. Much appreciated.  I forgot you have eucalypts in California.  :)

    And thanks, @GTO. Taking photos outside like Mark recommends gets the best results for me.

    I don't know anything about cameras or lenses but mine is an Olympus E-PL6 camera and the numbers 14 - 42mm 1: 3,5 - 5,6 are printed on the lens. I have no idea what most of those numbers mean. The camera is on auto and I just point and shoot. The camera also came with a second bigger lens but I've never used it. I ought to get up to speed on photography but I find the manual indecipherable.  :)
  • Rob, do you have to adjust colors with that camera?  Does it record in a raw format?
    Are you happy with the color matching the painting?   The spec says it is a 16megapixel non mirror SLR camera.
  • Wow @tassieguy.  I feel like I'm out in the sunshine in front of the trees.  They are spectacular.  Wishing you a speedy recovery from your operation.
  • Wonderful! Like allforchrist I am also very familiar with Californian eucalyptus and just love how you’ve captured that blue that shines out of them in the sun’s rays. The only other time I’ve seen that color is in the frozen waters of Alaska while on a cruise. It’s magical … Thanks for sharing.

    Positive thoughts for you on your hospital visit, we’ll see you on line. 

  • edited June 11
    Thanks very much, @A_Time_To_Paint and @joydeschenes for your kind words. I really appreciate your feedback.  :)

    @GTO, I've set the camera to shoot in both RAW and jpg at the same time. It doesn't seem to matter how I try to adjust the colour/white balance of the camera, the colour is never right, which is why I make colour notes with oil paint onsite when I take the photo. I crop and adjust the colour of the photo in Affinity Photo so it matches my colour notes. Once that's all done I print the photo and I'm ready to go,  or I paint from my tablet screen. Maybe I need to get a better camera. Do you think this brand and model is any good? It's about 7 years old. 
  • edited June 11
    @tassieguy How do you print and get it to match? Device screens, each different printer, file format all different and wreak havoc.
    I print ordinary print quality & paper at Officeworks from GIF (I think?) saved to PDF on el cheapo ordinary print paper and not as a photograph... but I have to ask them which printer currently has best colour reproduction. Every single printer there will give you a different result - lighter darker, colour shift, etc. I still never get a match with my notebook which has its own settings. And yes, I end up shifting all over the place warmer or cooler or values because I change my mind about which source I'm using - my screen or the printout which is easier to use but not quite what i want
  • edited June 11
    @Abstraction, I keep juggling the settings in Affinity Photo until the print I get is as close to my colour notes as I can make it. I have my own Epson printer and use their premium photo paper. It became very expensive in terms of ink cartridges so I found  a place online where I could buy re-useable cartridges that I fill with ink myself. The quality of the prints is as good as original Epson cartridges, for a small fraction of the price.  I wouldn't get my prints from Officeworks or the like because I need to have as much control as possible of the printing to get the colour close to my colour notes. I know nothing about cameras but I have learned to use image editors such as Affinity Photo and GIMP to get the best results from what the camera gives me.  Even so, photo prints are never perfect and, like you, I find that when I'm painting I have to make adjustments which I do with reference to my colour notes. Purists would say that I should be painting my landscapes en plein air but that is just not possible given the size of my paintings,  the weather,  my age and health, and other factors.
  • Gorgeous and I can smell it !
    There is an eucalyptus wood near me and your painting exactly feels that way.

  • Thanks so much, Annie.   :)
  • Rob, I’m not a camera expert but that looks good enough, the fact that you can save as raw and jpeg is what is important.  And the 42mm lens is a good choice because it will have less distortion.  Anything over 50mm would be a problem.
  • @tassieguy

    Fantastic work Rob, I am pulled in to those woods.
  • Thanks, @MichaelD:)

    Thanks for the info re the camera, @GTO. I thought it must be ok because it seems to take fairly good pictures. My only gripe is that it never gets the colour right. But, then, neither does the camera on my phone. Thank goodness for image editors where it can be done post exposure.  :)
  • Beautiful painting that invites a closer look revealing wonderful detail that is present in all of your work. There are many beautiful paintings within the whole in your paintings. It's fun to zoom in on different areas to see how you captured so well the over all feeling the painting exudes. 
    Wishing you a speedy recovery @tassieguy. :)
  • Beautiful and so alive! I love all the different colours 💛
  • you paint these trees so masterfully @tassieguy... each inch of the canvas with equal care. Looks gorgeous! 
    Hope you have recovered and well, to enjoy painting :)
  • Thanks, @anwesha. Glad you think it works.

    I'm still recovering from the operation. I haven't painted for 10 days. But I think I'll start a new one on Wednesday.  :)
  •  Nice. How many hours dd you spend on this?
  • Thanks, @DryPaintBrush. It took about 120 hours. That might sound like a lot but it's a big painting. I wish I could paint more quickly.  :)
  • It is an awful lot. I don't think I've ever spent anything close to that on a painting!
  • edited June 30
    Yes, I guess it sounds like a lot @Richard_P. But, not an "awful" lot. Since I retired, I don't have a lot else to do.  No kids or family. And I guess there are worse ways one could spend retirement. I don't smoke, drug, drink much or gamble. Painting and my piano are my only outlets.  This one took about 10 days. I probably accomplished something more worthwhile than if I'd spent the 10 days at the pub yacking to a bunch of other old farts with nothing better to do than reminisce about the good ol' days, LOL.  :)
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