Crystalline Forest – and lens drawing like Gainsborough

The dense foliage in some woodland scenes lends itself to a classic monochrome treatment IMO. In the following picture, I tried to achieve a range of textures from bone-like trunks to billowing crystalline leaves that would make one feel the same as when viewing a painted masterpiece from another age.

It’s not the first time, but I couldn’t help thinking about a Gainsborough painting while working on this one. His seemingly simple sketch of a woodland stream. I say it is deceptively so, because there is really a lot going on. It’s also one of the few that he did without other subjects, animal or human, in the frame. I suspect he paid special attention to what he left in.

The delicate touch he used drawing leaves and branches as well as the land, water and clouds gives both my conscious and subconscious perception a workout.

A woodland stream by Thomas Gainsborough

A Woodland Stream by Thomas Gainsborough
Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Although it is clearly impossible to reproduce the creative mode that painters use, I would be very happy to find a way to gain a small part of this type of masterful control over the media I work with. The key seems to still lie in how we capture the interaction of light with the objects we see and with the eyes and brain that we see with.

I’ll call the work below Crystalline Forest for now, and try to find a satisfactory explanation for how I managed to get the strangely delicate lines – almost like brush strokes. The light that day played a significant role.

Next up, vertical aspect ratios.

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