The perfect dogwood

I’m in search of the perfect dogwood. I really don’t have to go to far because I have a fine example right in my back yard. Last year I did several paintings of dogwoods, they are one of my favorite things about spring—I just love the early yellow green buds and the full bloom brilliance of this tree. They also have a crooked but balanced mannerism that give them a graceful dancer like look. They are hard to capture but I must give a try before the flowers are gone so I set up in the backyard looking up the hill that dominates my property.

I have done so many paintings in the back yard over the years and I’m fortunate to have dramatic elevation changes along with a horticulturist as a wife. After fifteen or more years most of the vegetation is very mature and a lot of the hard scape well integrated. I did a small thumb as usual but this is so familiar that it was not really needed. I use vine charcoal to draw a bit of reference on to my panels before starting also and I ended up taking a lot out of the elements out and concentrating on the tree. The work up was done with Archival Oils Odourless Lean and very thin paint in  a very general manner (Should have taken a shot of this for you) . This set up fairly quickly in the warm breeze and I was able to brush in my lights thickly without much delay. The light was coming in from the right so I shadowed out the  left side with a dull purple layering in the lights and trying to massing them in instead of painting individual buds. In the end I was satisfied with the results as a painting but the buds are still a bit spotted and the straight on angle makes it hard to explain the graceful arching effect this beautiful tree has. Perhaps less blooms and more concentration on the structure would be a better solution I may have to give it another shot.

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