Evening Light at Bullards

Arches 140# cp 11 x 14 inches

I worked on this studio painting for the past two days. It is based upon a photo I took while plein air painting along the 8 Ball Trail at Bullards Bar Reservoir.


I suppose that I could have gone darker and I might try this again until I get it to the satisfactory value range that it demands but I figure it is a way to get my feet wet with this particular scene.

Learning Points:

  • Saving my white paperย and going slow is fun! so different from painting from the seat of my pants, plein air!
  • All of my plein air painting is paying off in the studio, I would not have it any other way and I again advocate painting from life, it is integral to being a painter.

I can’t think of any other learning points other than I am discovering that I love pure color and when a color went a bit muddy, I freaked out. Most people would consider what I freaked out at is simpleย intermingling colors to an usable grayed down color, to me it appears muddy. Interesting, I’ll have to see what this all means. I rather enjoyed this painting session even though I should be resting because I am barely over the flu but I couldn’t resist.

I have another painting in progress and hope to have it finished before the weekend. I have another painting of Humbug Creek in mind to paint next.

27 thoughts on “Evening Light at Bullards

  1. Oh Margaret! I absolutely love your painted version of this scene and wouldn’t darken it up at all. This is such a fascinating piece and reminds me of a scene I have tied a number of times from my own back woods walk. I get so overwhelmed on pieces like this not knowing where to begin, what layers to start with, how to allow the light. Oh sigh! I get so frustrated. Do you recall the steps/layers and order you went? I know it is a lot to ask, so no worries if it is too much! Hope you health and spirits are returning more and more each day! No fun to be sick! You haven’t lost your art vibe through it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Be well Margaret.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Jodi! It looks hard but if you have a plan, it works, believe me. It really helped to see it in color steps first…..obviously you see yellow/gold and that almost pure white in the center? I did a layer of the yellow/gold and the sky I wanted to give more blue sky than appears in the photo because it gives it more reality and sense of place, all colors laid in with no hard edges. I then went in and started with the layering the trees in the background and then the main bright area with the focal trees. I took many breaks and didn’t rush. I should have went more into detail in my post but sometimes I am not sure if people are interested. I built up the scene slowly and changed what best suited the painting. If anything, I think what really helped me with painting this is being able to see the colors separately…color and value together, hard to explain but it really made sense this time around. I also feel that it can appear to be over-whelming or complex….yes, it is but you have to over-look that and go with a clear plan. If I were you, go with simple to more and more complex scenes….that way, you’ll get the gist of what steps you need to take and when you finally take on a complex scene, it won’t be over-whelming and it will be doable. Less than 6 months ago, I would have freaked out even attempting this painting….it is doable and I know that you can manage to paint your backyard. ๐Ÿ™‚ hope this helps! thank you for your comments, by the way.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. so so helpful! Thank you Margaret. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to break it down like this. I will continue to work on that scene from time to time and see what happens. So appreciate you! โค

        Liked by 1 person

  2. such glimpses of Light thru the forest in shadows – and so wonderfully done Margaret, definitely you caught the feeling of the place in your painting!
    I’m glad that painting helps you forget the flu, and hope you’re all better … with the speed of Light ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. I for one don’t see any mud here! I love the mingling of those colors of rusts and blues. I like the depth of your trees and the beautiful colors. I wonder if you added more shadow in the foreground right on the slope if it would make the sunlight area that much brighter?

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better. and enjoying plein air!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. exactly….but when I am plein air painting, it is grab and paint and to wait for layers to dry, I am too impatient and that lighting changes so quickly for me to wait. ๐Ÿ™‚ Also I think I like the utilizing the white paper for the affect it gives, all depends on the subject or feeling I want. Much easier in the studio.


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