Blackberry Camp

Blackberry Camp is the site of an old Iron Age settlement in East Devon. Known locally for its spectacular blubell display in May, I have chosen to paint it in the Autumn when the beech woodlands are equally impressive.

Image 1

Initially I crudely block in the positions where I want the main trees to go.  I also give the board a strong orange wash to give the painting an overall consitancy as new layers are added.

Image 2

Started to put in more tree shapes in the background and work out how the light is going to fall. The whole of the foreground is made up of fallen leaves so I want strong light and shade cutting across this area to break it up.

Image 3

Started to rough in the leaves in the foreground, they will be built up with a series of washes. Generally I tend to do a darker wash emphasising the shadows followed by a paler wash working up the highlights.  Then as it starts to take shape I add more colour to each wash.

Image 4

I managed to do quite a bit more to the painting over the Christmas period. I am finding this photographing and then reflecting on the image really helpful. The leaves on image 4 are looking far too even and neatly laid out I think the addition of a few more fallen branches will help this, maybe even a large one in the bottom left hand corner. Also thinking the shadows falling across the leaves are a little too dark and need to be broken up with more patches of light. Quite pleased with the light in the top left hand corner though!

Image 5

It was all looking very dark so have a decided to add more light in on the right hand side. Most of the sky will be over-painted but hopefully will lift the painting.

Image 6

Sorted out the tree line at the back, started to give them shadows and highlights, with the addition of some bright leaves at the top is starting to bring it all together.  Stll lots to be done but I’m going to put it on hold for a while as I have some exhibitions coming up and this piece is too long for all of them (slight oversight). So going to start some smaller paintings and add them up on the blog as they progress.