The first artwork of the year. Iceland again. This is the initial lay-in, first day of work.
2nd day. The scene is near the village of Hjalmsstaoaa, not far from the valley of the geysers. This rare grove of trees (I think they are probably aspens) was glowing in the late afternoon at the foot of volcanic mountains, while clouds and fog were roiling over the peaks. We had to stop the car and take photos and look at this for a while.
Here's the third stage. From here on out, it will be a matter of subtleties, pushing and pulling values forward and back, adjusting the light, subduing certain areas to help the eye move and settle. I want to work toward a more ominous feeling in the mountains, with bright light on only one area of the tree - they're all too similar now - and to subdue the foreground even more. It's also weird to look at it so greatly reduced. Here's a detail, closer to lifesize:
It's not supposed to be a postcard picture, even though it's a beautiful scene - in reality, there was a sense of foreboding, menace, and tension along with the beauty. That's not so easy to achieve, and I'm finding that using color complicates this a lot. I've been craving color -- it's pretty damned monochrome up here right now! -- but don't think this picture holds up next to the charcoal drawings of Iceland. It feels like an entirely different animal. I'll probably leave it alone for a bit now, and think.
Even though I'm having some trouble/questions with this one, it feels good to be working again. I got derailed from artwork in early December, because of Thaliad and a complex graphic design project with a tight deadline, so this is the first thing I've done for a while. Glad to be back at it!