The Wilderness at the Bottom of My Garden - OOC - 36" X 38"

I've worked on this one for about 10 days. It's the edge of my native garden so I didn't need to search far for the subject.   Like my previous tree painting, the trees are back lit, so it's a rather dark scene overall but, hopefully, the patches of sunlight on the ground and foliage lift it a bit. Kangaroos and wallabies graze here at night and they keep the grass down which I'm happy about. 

As usual this photo of the painting was taken inside at night in poor light so the colour is not quite right. I'll get a better photo outside in daylight tomorrow.

Thanks for taking a look and for any comments/ critiques/suggestions.    :)



  • This is absolutely fabulous.  Some of your best work.  I like the level of shade and sunlight.  It has a restful feel even with the slanted hillside. 
  • Thanks very much, @GTO. I tried to keep it fairly loose so I'm glad it reads ok.  :)
  • Wow Rob this is wonderful, such detail and the light is beautifully done.

    I love the unusual gradient slant of the composition too.  

  • Thanks very much, @MichaleD. I'm happy that you think it works.  :)
  • This is just wonderful!  I also love the contrasting shadow and sunlight and the angle of the land.  It's very inviting.  I want to park myself among those trees in the foreground and soak up some of that beautiful sun.  Nice and relaxing.  You always totally amaze me with your ability to capture all that detail.  Beautiful!!
  • Thanks so much, @A_Time_To_Paint.

    I try to give the impression of detail. Thank goodness for abstraction!  :)  In the foliage and the grass in the foreground I was pretty loose and just tried to suggest detail by indicating the texture with different shaped and different colored brushstrokes. It would be humanly impossible to paint every actual detail.

     I'm very happy you think it works. :)
  • Absolutely fantastic!  Just love it.  I was wondering if you were almost finished with another painting yet and then there it was. Looking up close at the way you painted this is very educational.  I'm so glad you post your paintings on the forum for us to view. Thank you.
  • Thanks very much, @oilpainter1950. I'm so pleased you think it works.

    Painting keeps me grounded.  I get so much out of posting my stuff here. I'm retired and painting is all I do these days. It's necessarily a solitary occupation so being able to come in here and get feedback is priceless. Thanks again for taking the time to comment.  :)
  • Ahh! Beautiful.. love your tree paintings. All those little details, hues and dappled light. One of your best Rob!
  • Love it! I think its really cool that you paint your surroundings and do it so well, with passion and dedication.What makes painting so unique is the feelings you possess when painting a scene that you know and admire. Another artist might see and paint the same area and it would look totally different.
    You put out an impressive amount of quality paintings in a short period of time, Congrats on another great painting.  

  • edited September 16
    This is criminally good. When I see an old painting in my instagram feed, I can always pick Peder Monsted because of his handling of light - occasionally it's someone else, but usually I pick it. He is the absolute master of sunlight in my view. This one is like his portrayal of light.
    Design is simple but fascinating. The downhill triangle leading you to that twisted curvature of the trunk and its shadow against the straight lines, including that H.
    tassieguy said:
    Thank goodness for abstraction!
    Well, it's just my reaction to your painting.
  • edited September 16
    Thanks, @Richard_P.  I'm glad you like the tree paintings. I'm mulling over another one of the woods at the edge of my garden.   :)

    Thanks, @whunt. I'm retired so I'm able to get a lot of painting done.  I think you're right about needing to have a feeling for the scene. It would be hard to do a large, detailed landscape if it didn't move me aesthetically and emotionally.  :)

    Thanks, @Abstraction. That is high praise indeed. Monsted is one of my absolute favorite landscape painters. I'm glad you think the composition works. I agonized about that twisted tree in the right foreground. I thought about leaving it out but, in the end, I felt it was needed to add interest and to stop the downward slide to the right. I'm happy that you think it looks ok there.  :)

  • Outstanding work!  I love the way you handled light and shadow. 
  • Thank you, @joepmurray.  I've just tonight finished adding the final touches. :)
  • @tassieguy - do you laminate photos to be able to color check on the photo? 
  • edited September 20
    @whunt. No, I don't laminate. I just stick the photo I'm working from onto the canvas next to the part of the painting I'm working on. If I need to check colour, I put a dab of paint onto a bit of clear plastic that I hold over the photo.  But most of the time, once I've worked out the palette for a painting, I can do it on the wing and don't need to colour check every brushstroke. I mix the basic palette before I start painting in a similar way to what @KingstonFineArt described. And this is basically what Mark does. But I use more colours nowadays rather than just the basic 5 color Carder palette. This gives me a greater range in terms of hue and chroma. In my landscapes there's usually a warm and cool blue, a warm and cool green, etc. so I mix these basic colors before I start painting, and I adjust the values and chroma of these as I paint. 

    I'm still learning how to do this and trying to develop a system that works for me.  If a brushstroke is the wrong hue/value/chroma, which quite often happens, I just scape off and redo it. That's the great thing about oils. They're very forgiving and no brushstroke need be final.  :)
  • You've given up on using the tablet for colour checking then Rob? ;)
  • No, @Richard_P., I haven't given up, but I need a new tablet. The old Samsung one I have is awful - when you move your head the colour changes. I need one of the new ones with a screen that doesn't do that; a screen that looks the same no matter what angle you view it from. I've researched it and I know what I need to buy. However, I like making color notes in the field and using those as an adjunct to my printed photos. I solved the problem of having to pay outrageous prices for Epson ink cartridges by buying reusable ones that I fill with high quality ink myself. I can now make prints as good, if not better, than I could with Epson cartridges at a tiny fraction of the cost. The cost was one of the main reasons I wanted to paint from the tablet but that is no longer an issue, so I've stuck with making prints and calibrating the color of them to my color notes. And prints are easier to stick to the canvas next to the bit I'm painting. Roxy's magnet idea worked but it was a pain to move them and the tablet and reattach it to the next section of canvas. I'll probably stick with my color notes and prints unless I have a photo af a scene I was not able to make color notes of. 
  • It’s a lot more interesting than my back yard @tassieguy . No Roos or wallabies for us, but we do have a resident blue tongue lizard. It’s beautifully painted, I especially like the movement in the foreground grass. 
  • Wait, where’s the painting? All I see is the source photo! Truly amazing @tassieguy … ! Very chaotic tree and brush that is both interesting and beautiful! 
  • Wow,great painting.Love those shadows and the light.
  • I'm totally blown away @tassieguy.  Your work is sooooo gorgeous!  The angle of the land, the light and shadow playing on the ground, the character of the twisted tree that leads me into the painting, and that riotous background that beckons to be entered to see what is hidden.  How I wish you would teach others but know technique is not the entire story.  You are a true master of light, shadow, details, and you really know how to showcase the beauty in what would otherwise be an ordinary scene.  I'm in awe.  I could study that painting literally for hours.   
  • Thanks so much, @A_Time_To_Paint. I really appreciate your comments. You, too, see beauty in the ordinary. It's there waiting to be brought out. I see beauty in a bit of scrubby woodland or a pile of rocks, but I never know before I start a painting whether I'm going to be able to bring it out so others will see it, too. Your comments give me heart. :)
  • Well, my mind is blown! Beautiful work! I am curious about the support you are painting on.  Is it canvas or panel? Linen panel? Smooth surface or rough surface?
  • The very much, @BruceBlack. :)

    I paint on stretched 12 oz or 15oz cotton canvas. (Linen is so damned expensive!) I do the darks thinly and then I use rather thick, stiff paint for the lights.  I like a fairly rough surface with a good bit of tooth so that it grabs the thick paint. 

    Thanks again for your kind comments.  :)
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