At this point in the painting the main forms are also being built, with special attention to the negative shapes created. It’s a push-pull process. I’ve cut in around the main palm, reshaped it, and cut in again. The pines have been shaped and reshaped. For me this part is a building process –build up, reassess, tear down, build up again. I’m also very much aware of the edges of the canvas and how each of them contributes to pushing the painting into shape. And as the sky becomes yellower, the painting starts to lean in the direction of the original color stratagy.
Today I’m starting to refine and redefine the value shapes. At the moment there are three values—the dark upright trees, the light sky, and the flat land. These will develop into many values as each form is built but will retain their original character. Now the ground is lighter and flattening out because it receives the most light. The uprights will always be the darkest value because they receive the least light, as does the bottom of the grasses. I want to remember to retain the water that can be seen in the foreground of the working photo, so I’ve put it in—it’s another “flat,” so it will receive more skylight and be lighter than the upright grasses around it.