A Crazy Start to a Painting

By Diana Madaras

I just finished a brand new piece, The Tree 2, and it has quite a story!

I am not a formula painter with a step-by-step routine that I follow every time. I never want my process to become rote or boring, so when artist/teacher Derek Penix suggested I start my newest painting with wild, crazy brushstrokes, I got excited. Here are the first strokes.

The Tree 2 | Painting in Progress 1

Gradually, I added color to the foliage and began to shape the trunk and branches. Then I made “sky holes” — dabs of blue mixed with white that suggest the sky is peeking through the leaves.

The Tree 2 | Painting in Progress 2

I then refined the tree, shaped it, and refined it time and again. I added highlights and finishing touches to complete The Tree 2. The process was liberating, and I love the looseness of the foliage. The "underpainting" adds depth to the image, and the more abstract quality lets the viewer experience it in a more interpretive way. And it sure was fun to paint with reckless abandon!

The Tree 2 | Southwest Art Painting

The Tree 2

Happy Holidays to all. I appreciate you.

Warm regards,