In these conditions of bright sunlight, I wanted to explore the contrast of the hard structural elements of the trees that were thrown into silhouette with the foliage that allowed light through and consequently appeared to almost fluoresce.

The unpaved footpath, covered in autumn leaf litter, stretches far away before curving out of sight, but the least dense canopy was about halfway along, which meant that the relative tonal values between background and middle ground were unusual.

I used soft pastels to lay down base colour in a circular form, then fixed these. I then used conte sticks to draw trunks and branches and more soft pastels to add detailed foliage and stones in the foreground. I tried using more impressionistic marks than is my usual habit, and it creates interest in the foreground without upsetting the overall composition which still draws the eye to the distance.

I really enjoyed the ability to add more to the picture after the application of fixative, which I haven’t done before. It allowed me to better capture the deeper colours and retain some sharper definition and focus on the foliage in the foreground. I will employ this method again.

I’m pleased with this picture. It evokes the peaceful sunny atmosphere observed when I was on my sketchbook walk.

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