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  final painting

As I turn into the driveway where I have currently been doing some plein air painting, I cross over a small creek. It is as though I am surrounded by a fairytale forest. I painted this scene from a photo. I wonder what this scene looks like in the fall and winter and may re-visit and paint it again.  This is looking east and I was intrigued by the circle of light above the bend in the creek.

This was my first wash describing the light. I splattered the frisket, dropped salt and began painting in leaf forms.

I finished leaf forms and began describing the darks and the lay of the land that slopes upward to either side.

Adding the trees and working toward the finish.

Even though I did not paint this scene in a loose manner and this was an extended process over quite a few days, I am thankful to Chris Carter for posting quick and loose versions of landscapes, recently. They helped me to undersatnd that there is a flow and a pattern of values to any landscape scene. I admire her work.


  1. Dazzling!

  2. Very surreal.

  3. Thanks for the reference to my blog. I’m delighted that the postings have been helpful.

    • Thank-you, Chris! I highly admire your work and I hope that I am absorbing much of what you share as I view and read your posts.

  4. this is good, Leslie – thanks for posting the WIP

  5. Really nice! Atmospheric and sun-dappled. “Wish I was there…” kind of a painting. I would even say impressionistic!!!

    I really appreciate you posting stages. Also this painting made me think I’ve got to have some work completed too, sometime soon. Thanks for the push, I know it wasn’t intentional, but it worked :D!

    • Hi Alex. Thank-you for this comment. I was going to give up on this one about a third of the way through because of all the dappling of the leaves which I think gives it that impressionistic feel a little. It was very time consuming and I thought I would never get it to read correctly. I’m only sharing this because of your conversation the other day about what to show and such. I did the Wolf Paw painting in between and was then able to come back to this refreshed. Wish you could paint, here, too!

  6. Absolutely gorgeous painting Leslie – and very fairytale like! Who wouldn’t want to stroll into this painting and through that circle of light. 🙂

    • Thank-you, Lynda. Now you are making me think of “Alice in Wonderland” kind of; only that was a rabbit hole wasn’t it? Now you have made me think of “Hansel and Gretel” and “Little Red Riding Hood”. We need amodern day fairy tale that isn’t scarey! 🙂

      Oh, I’ve been turning on your smileys when I receive them. If you want them to show, leave a space before and after. I keep forgetting to tell you and thought you might want to know.

  7. OMG, OMG, OMG! This is STUNNINGLY beautiful. One of my favorites for sure. It has a sense of pointillism which I love. Just beautiful!!!!

    • You are giving me three! OMGs!!!? Thank-you! Not far off on the pointillism feeling while painting this. I wonder if the true pointillists who paint the whole thing with dabs and dots suffered from eye strain. It is really hard to keep track of values while doing this. I had to constantly prop it and back off of it. Thank-you, again, Carol.

  8. Looks great Leslie! I like how the individual strokes atomize the light to create this sun-dappled effect.

    • Thank-you, Al. My painting of this made me think of you walking in that heat this summer in and out of woodsy areas along the river. You are much braver than I. I won’t go out to paint unless it is under 90 degrees.

  9. This is beautiful 🙂 real great art work, its obvious you have mastered the brushes.

    • Hi Alonso! 🙂 Thank-you. I wish I had mastered the brushes. I rarely can get the drybrush effect, but yes, lots of dabs!

    • Alonso. Care to try a self portrait? Visit Linda Halcomb’s blog here: Remember those challenges like the poppies and the lighthouses? You do incredible caricature and I know you can do yourself! We will post on Sept 21st.

  10. This looks like a soft and gentle fantasy. I really like the rosy color in the creek and the feeling of light and quivering leaves. You are so prolific. What do you do with all the works you create?

    • Thank-you, Linda. I, too, thought this area looked like a fantasy land.
      Once I am done, I sleeve them in portfolios that I have purchased that are acid free. I believe the namebrand is ITOYA. They have pages and room for quite a few. That way they aren’t exposed to light and they don’t get bent or dust-covered. I enter three shows a year so some get framed when a show is coming up. I have sold my art and that has generally been at a show or by word of mouth or per request for something specific. I use them as gifts, also.
      I have laughed with family members about a garage sale once I’m gone. 🙂

      • Great advice Leslie. I bought acetate archival envelopes and a big flat tote but it is filling up fast. I like the portfolio idea. What shows do you enter?

  11. You make painting so easy Leslie with your step by step illustration..this is really very deep, you actually can travel in to it and feel around.. amazingly done!

    • Wow. Thank-you, Padmaja. I had never imagined that. I’m just always trying to think about values and dividing space. I am going to have to remember what you said, here. It may help me the next time I work a stream, path or road.

  12. Hi Leslie. I really like your use of purple/violet in this. These colors set a certain tone and atmosphere of gentle invitation. Sure, I’ll come to the creek in the woods…oh yeah.

    • Thanks, Eva! I learned from awatercolor teacher, along the way, that the greens, yellow-oranges and violets promoted a restful feeling. I think that is pretty cool that you picked up on that. I wonder what our land looked like 200 years ago. Surely it was covered with woods similar to this in my part of the country.

  13. Hey lekker Leslie – At first I thought “very busy” but your finish with the trunks and paths calmed it all down. In my final year of study I used to walk to University through Newlands Forest and this brought back those magic mornings – thank you.

    • I know. I know. I set myself up by taking this rather leafy approach to the subject. I just had to. I think that is why it took so long. Your comment about walking through the woods and this reminding you of that is super! A sense of place and there is no greater compliment. Thank-you, Stephen.

  14. I had this same thought looking up, from directly underneath a large tree this weekend. The leaf pattern, and the bursting of light finding it’s way through, was amazing. Once again… you’ve captured it wonderfully!

    • Thank-you, Ryan. Then you do understand that need to dot in all those leaves? That is what hit me. Millions of leaves. If it was just the colors, I could have done something along the line of washes with salt or something like that. Thanks for your experience with the same sensation.

  15. It’s only when an image truly catches my interest that i actually full screen it.
    I did with this one and wow.
    It’s actually quite a simple (just i guess time consuming) painting

    • I think there is a simplicity to landscapes. For me the challenge was the ability to get the leaves to read like the woods make you feel. The second was to create the illusion of depth. Thanks Richard!

  16. OMG! This is so beautiful, Leslie! All the splattered frisket and the intense leaf detail is incredible, set against the composition of light and darks!!! I am in AWE of what you have accomplished here.

    Yes, you must go paint there in the fall. That scene would be breath-taking, as well!

    Absolutely gorgeous!!!!!!!!

    • Hi Beth! The funny thing is, there are not as many leaves in that area, now, as there were when I started this painting. I think the heat and the dry spells we have been having has caused many of the trees to lose some of their leaves. I hope the week-ends this fall are good weather ones for me to paint here. Thank you so much for your comment! 🙂

  17. You captured the feel of a fairy tale land perfectly. That was my first thought before even reading your description! I love the watery-light feel of this painting. Lovely.

    • I like that, “the watery-light feel”. I did not think of that, but Indiana has that around the woodsy creeks. Thank-you, Bree!

  18. Stunning! I could almost smell the season in your painting. I enlarge your pictures to look at the way you paint and the strokes you make. It’s just another great painting to add to your collection. Inspirational as always!

    • Thank-you, Keith. Are your creek areas, where you are, similar to this or is there even more foliage? I think there are less tedious ways to go about painting a scene like this but I wanted that tedious feeling of leaves and more leaves. That’s what impressed me about this scene when I witnessed it.

  19. Makes me feel like walking there. Great stuff.
    Hope you go back in the fall.

    • Thank-you, Richard. I will be going back. The owners of the property and I were discussing how different everything was beginning to look, already. This particular spot is crossed as you go up their drive. You see nothing but the woods for awhile.

  20. Hi Leslie!

    How are you? Beautiful paintings! I haven’t been here for a while, and I feel ashamed. Your work is so great! Indiana looks good 🙂

    • Hi Camilla. Thank-you so much! I am trying to capture Indiana in paint as you just discovered. It doesn’t compare to your beautiful nature photography, but am trying!!!! Welcome back! 🙂

  21. Oh Leslie, this is so beautiful!! Really, really beautiful!
    I’ve just been looking at the larger versions of it with my F11 key engaged – so the image fills the whole screen – really a pleasure!

    • Thank-you, Val! I am guessing that the images that you create on your computer probably take the investment in time that this painting took me to do? I can’t even imagine how you do those moving ones. I like enlarging other artists’ work, also. That way you can almost imagine when they splattered and what parts they hand painted. Great fun! 🙂

  22. Gulp! (I bow to this canvas and its artist from my waist and that’s not easy in tight jeans.) This is so so lovely.

    Also, it inspires me to try and post evolutions of some of my own photo illustrations….seeing the evolution is more magic-making than revealing, I think.

    • Thank-you, Pat! I had to switch to stretch jeans last year. I am honored by your bow. I saw several other artists posting sequences of their work. I like to do this from time to time. Looking at other’s sequences has helped me to see the stages they worked through and I have learned so much. I would really like to see the magic-making of a photo!

  23. Oh, please re-visit this place in fall and winter. I can only imagine the changes that seasons bestow!

    • I am going to re-visit, for sure. I think it will be so interesting. It is like getting a feel for an area like you do in Big Sur! Thanks, Kate!

  24. I like this piece because it reminds me of what I would see as a young boy embracing fantastic worlds and seeking adventure. I use to love to wander through similar looking natural landscapes, always thinking I might find something magical.

    Sure, sure. Years later the magic dies a little, but that’s what we have the artist for. Thanks for the taste of a magic.


  25. It’s magical. The lights from the far side of the trees is really captivating, i would like to follow the lights and walk into the forest myself. Another beautiful work.

    • Thank-you, Francis. Sometimes it is all about the light. I still remember your painting of the lantern and how beautifully you handled the light in that painting.

  26. Wow Leslie, that’s awesome. And being able to see that process; I struggle a bit with “backgrounds,” nature scenes is maybe a better term, but this is a great approach. And the use of color!

    • You are working in ink and I think that is a little more limiting making a background. I used to practice simple landscapes in ink. The trick, for me was varying the values between the foreground, middle ground and background. Thank-you for the visit and the comment, K!

  27. oh, my gosh, i love, love, love this – it reminds me of Janacek.

    • Wow. If you mean the composer, I am totally flattered. His music is beautiful. Thank-you!

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] I did some more looking on Leslie Whites blog and was yet again inspired by one of her paintings. This poem was a little different as I started off with the first bit just based on what I saw but […]

  2. By Yupo Watercolors « Leslie White on 21 Nov 2010 at 10:09 am

    […] is the view of the same creek as here only it is looking west instead of […]

  3. […] inspiration came from strips of a reference photo I used to paint this painting last year. I liked the value patterns I saw in the photo as I moved my viewfinder around an inkjet […]

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