Reflections on life: A fun journey

Bryce Herrington

Gallery: Reflections on life, blog
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I work into the closer trees on the right; these will establish the core of the reflections in the pond. On these trees, there is more detail in the branches, but I still need to keep it loose…back to careful randomness! I work fast here, spontaneity being the key. I’m using only Davy’s Gray and Indigo Blue now. I will use only four pigments throughout this painting; I am focusing on the subtle interplay ofthese colors to achieve the mood I want.
Winter scenes obviously do not have the endless variations of color and tone as say, a spring scene would have, but it is not that simple. The effect of the subdued winter light makes it extremely important to study and recognize the subtle variations it creates in the landscape, and use these to infuse the painting with life and feeling.
Keeping it simple, adding and subtracting as I feel, I move through this phase fairly quickly.


I proceed from the middle ground to the foreground, continuing the technique I used for the middle ground. The only changes are in the details; I put more definition in the snow and grasses.

The cattails and long grass at the edge of the pond present a challenge; they must be a strong element of the painting, but not overpowering or dominant. I worked loose and quick, depicting the essence and form, not getting caught up in detail. I kept the paint fairly fluid, blending colors as I applied them to the paper, not on the palette, and used quick, gestural brushstrokes.

I take time at this phase to frequently look at the painting and its progress, evaluating each section I have just worked on. There is a tendency to over-detail areas close to the viewer, and I did not want this. When I felt I had the right look, feel, balance and harmony, I laid my brushes down.

This was a very satisfying painting for me, and I am pleased with the way I met the challenges before me and the results of my effort, as was my client. It was a fun journey, and I am honored and grateful that you traveled with me.