Backyard Plein Air Painting: Birch Tree Landscape Painting
May 5, 2009, 8:21 pm
Filed under: landscape, Painting, Plein Air, tree | Tags: , , , ,
Birch Clump, 6x8", oil on linen panel, by Jeffrey Smith

Birch Clump, 6x8", oil on linen panel, by Jeffrey Smith

Birch Clump

8×6″ original oil on linen panel


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I kept my landscape painting close to home tonight.  I took my pochade box out to the backyard.  The neighbors have a great clump of birch trees.  Perfect for one last plein air painting though I had to paint fast to capture the evening light before it changed as the sun went down.

After finishing up with the birch trees outside, I brought my painting in.  Walking through the living room, I couldn’t help but notice a similarity to a small watercolor painted by my grandmother.

Birch Clump, 5x7", watercolor on paper, by Vi Olson

Birch Clump, 5x7", watercolor on paper, by Vi Olson


A Touch of Color
Birch Trees, Fall Color

Birch Trees, Fall Colors, 8x6", oil on canvas panel

Please click here for purchase information on this painting.

The above is  a small oil sketch painted on the edge of a clearing.  I wanted to play a bit more with color on this one.  Some times I fell like my paintings can loose some of the color intensity and variety as I work.  Things tend to get more and more neutral.  I think this painting has definitely keeps some of it’s original freshness.

Birch Forest
Birch Forest, 4x12". oil on panel

Birch Forest, 4x12

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Welcome to the Birch Forest! Today’s post is a oil painting sketch that I’m planning on enlarging into a bigger painting. 

I just finished making a batch of new panels, and have been anxious to try this long, narrow shape.  I think the birch trees in mass lend themselves quite nicely to this format. 

The inspiration for this painting came from another one of my plein air paint studies.  That one was a square format, painted at mid-day.  For this new painting, I cropped way, way in, and changed the lighting to the low angel, orange glow of late evening.

I tried something different in the paint process here too.  I executed the initial drawing and layout of this landscape in shade of gray.  I painted the first layer thin, and then went back into this wet bed of paint with full color.  I’ve always loved the feeling of painting one color into another, so I’m thinking this is going to be something that will be great fun to explore and see where it takes me.