It is hard to believe but spring has finally arrived to Toronto. After a long and might I say proper winter we finally are seeing the sun and feeling its warmth.
Next three paintings were all painted at Taylor Creek Park which is close to my house.
The day started with mostly overcast light. The nice thing about overcast is that it is consistent light without much change as the day passes. There is no rush when painting. I settled on this down view of the creek and the reflection of the riverbank. Because the light is diffuse it doesn't create harsh reflections, allowing us to see deeper into the river bed. I was going for a more quieter mood and felt that making the sky reflection too light would take away from the stillness of the scene. Instead, I brought out more the the deeper saturated blue of the sky than it what actually looked like (it was quite bright), this in turn lowered the value of the reflection and gave less contrast.
"Stillness" Pastel, 8x10in
Next up, I turned around to face the now unobstructed sun busting through trees and still bare thickets. The first spring leafs were back lit, and their intense yellow green colour was further intensified by the play of the refracting light and dark background behind them. This is a classic sub surface scattering effect, the same one when you put your hand right next to a strong light bulb and you can see the red colour of your blood right through your skin.
"First Leafs" Pastel, 8X10in
As the sun was setting I decided to go for one more. I knew I did not have much time and whatever I decided to paint would lack detail and careful drawing. There was a small patch of cattails nearby, backlit with raking light, beautifully outlining their shaggy worn heads. There was a lot of detail in front of me. I was able only to suggest what was going on but not much more... I look forward to coming back to this spot and doing further studies.
"Catching the Last Light" Pastel, 8x10in