Painting-in-Progress: Starting with Magenta Trees

Wanting to move away from the blues and greens of recent paintings, I decided I’d start a forest painting with a seriously intense colour, magenta. It does still tie into reality through foxgloves and pink-purple heathers, so there is a little landscape-painting logic behind the choice.

I started with adding some texture in thin vertical strips for tree trunks, then once this has dried I brushed over magenta. I added a little red to this for a bit of variation, then left it to dry before starting to layer in colour that will ultimately read as “tree trunks”. If you’re wondering about the background, I did this at Skyeworks Gallery.

Painting in progress magenta trees
After the magenta/red ground had dried, I added the first tree layer.
Painting in progress magenta trees
Between the first layer of trees, I added blue for sky (which will become blue for water instead).
Then greens for grass/forest undergrowth (which would soon become green for leaves/foliage instead).
Then greens for grass/forest undergrowth (which would soon become green for leaves/foliage instead).
Turned sideways to allow new layer of blues to run, which is where I decide blues will be at bottom of painting not the top, and turn it  "upside down".
Turned sideways to allow new layer of blues to run, which is where I decide blues will be at bottom of painting not the top, and turn it “upside down”.
Masking tape added so that whatever I did next, some of the colours as they are now will be retained. The masking tape is torn in half to give a ragged edge to enhance the feeling of tree trunks.
Masking tape added so that whatever I did next, some of the colours as they are now will be retained. The masking tape is torn in half and the straight edges put together, to give a ragged edge to enhance the feeling of tree trunks.
How it looked the moment before I removed the masking tape.
How it looked the moment before I removed the masking tape.
With the tape removed.
With the tape removed.  Work in progess. Size 100x50cm.

This is still a work-in-progress. I have some idea of where I’ll go next (such as refining the darks), but have left the painting at Skyeworks so I’ll have to see if what I’ve in mind still applies when I see it again on Wednesday.

One comment so far from someone who’s seen it has been that it’s “tweed handbag colours”, referencing the bright pinks popular in modern tweeds. Any other suggestions?

11 Replies to “Painting-in-Progress: Starting with Magenta Trees”

  1. It looks like a view of the ocean and a sunset throu a full sheer curtain…from the picture. The sunset even reflects on the water in my view.

  2. I do love seeing your process with your layers of colors! I can see something different and changing in each step, very inspirational for me. Love it.

  3. About your painting, Marion.
    “1945”

    O my goodness
    How sumptuous and tragic
    Nature
    Across the bars

    My heart is bleeding
    As the Ocean
    Under a sky
    Ablaze

    I am an army deserter
    And I think of my fellows
    Dead on the beaches
    Infused with their blood

    These streaked with blood
    Sky and sea
    Torment my soul
    Like a sudden stroke!

  4. I liked the sequence that you present in your post. I am eager to see the following steps. It has to be in a fantastic work. Thank you for sharing

    1. Thank you! I haven’t worked any further on this yet — I need to get over the “I’m going to mess it up” fear and am waiting until I’ve a clear thought about what I’ll do next rather than a “maybe this, maybe that”.

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