Oak Tree, Bixby Ranch, Big Sur

by Steve Love Artist

Oak Tree, Bixby Ranch, Big Sur

The title of the second painting in progress is Oak Tree, Bixby Ranch, Big Sur 50”x60”. The photograph was taken during late spring when the tall grass is turning from green to brown. The morning fog had just cleared, creating cool green cast shadows and beautiful warm brown spotlight effects on the trunk of the tree and branches. The gnarled and twisted tree branches are shaped by the north west gail force winds that blow directly off the ocean.

Oak Tree Step One
Oak Tree, Bixby Ranch underpainting: In the first step all colors are thinned with turpentine. The sky is tinted with cerulean blue, the grass is tinted with raw sienna and viridian green, and the oak tree is tinted with raw umber.  Some basic form is developed in the underpainting.

Oak Tree Rough

The sky is roughed in with cerulean blue, manganese blue and white. The tall grass and cast shadow is roughed in with raw sienna, naples yellow, viridian green and raw umber. The oak tree is roughed in with raw umber, raw sienna, viridian green, and white. The form of the branches, tree trunk, and tall grass are developed with dry brush, and spot glazing.

Oak Tree Step three

The sky is developed and finished with dry brushwork and spot glazing. The colors used are manganese blue, cerulean blue, and alizarin crimson. The pattern and shape of the leaves are developed with small brush marks. The colors used are viridian green, terre verte, windsor emerald, naples yellow, raw umber, and white. The dry brush and spot glazing technique is used to create form on the tree trunk and branches. The colors used are raw sienna, raw umber, viridian green, and white. More detail is added to the grass with overlapping brush marks of viridian green, naples yellow, and raw umber.