Wil­liam Worces­ter

Illi­nois, USA, oil, 20 x 16" (51 x 41 cm)

International Artist - - Art Challenge -

My In­spi­ra­tion

For me, in­spi­ra­tion is found al­most ev­ery­where in na­ture. I don’t look for the spec­tac­u­lar, be­cause I of­ten find beauty in the or­di­nary Mid­west­ern land­scapes near where I live. I of­ten go out to sketch, paint plein air and shoot pho­to­graphs of woods, trees, streams and rivers that some­how speak to me and say, “Paint me, I would make a good sub­ject for a paint­ing.” That was the case with this beau­ti­ful birch. It looked like it had en­dured many win­ters and winds, but was still stand­ing proud. The off-white of its trunk stood out against the fo­liage and tree line be­hind it. It was an ex­tra­or­di­nary tree and I felt led to cap­ture its char­ac­ter in my medium of oil paint.

My De­sign Strat­egy

I im­me­di­ately de­cided that the birch tree was my main sub­ject and I knew I had to make it stand out in the com­po­si­tion. I off-cen­tered it slightly as to avoid a static, evenly di­vided pic­ture. I used value con­trast to make the tree have the light­est and dark­est val­ues in the paint­ing. I gave the tree the hard­est edges and de­fined it more than the rest of the pic­ture to make it the cen­ter of in­ter­est. I used di­ag­o­nals in the back­ground to cre­ate a sense of move­ment in the piece. Fi­nally, I light­ened a swath of the fore­ground grass to cre­ate a path that leads the eye to the tree.

My Work­ing Process

I started by do­ing a quick thumb­nail sketch us­ing graphite in a sketchbook, to work out the value struc­ture of the paint­ing. I chose to paint on oil-primed linen mounted to alu­minum for the archival qual­ity of the sub­strate. I blocked in the big shapes of the paint­ing mainly us­ing oil paint straight from the tube. I used a lim­ited pal­ette to cre­ate a har­mo­nious color scheme. Af­ter the sur­face was cov­ered I soft­ened all the edges with a lint free, soft pa­per towel. At this point, I be­gan to re­state the en­tire paint­ing. I then fo­cused on the tree, us­ing pal­ette knife and brush to cre­ate edges, fi­nal de­tails and the smaller branches.


My Con­tact De­tails

Email: wfw51@ya­hoo.com Web­site: www.williamworces­ter.com

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