Thursday, April 16, 2020

Painting the Almond Blossoms

I had the opportunity to paint way out in the countryside at a friend's house east of Modesto. CA.  The California Central Valley is the home of thousands of acres of farms and especially almonds.  Each spring the valley is white with trees all in bloom.  It almost looks like snow and when the blooms fade and start to fall, it looks like it is snowing!  It is not great for people with allergies, but it sure is beautiful!
 My friend's house is at the top of a hill overlooking the valley for miles.  You can see the Sierra Mountains and the foothills before them.  Layers and layers of hills and valleys all covered in neat rows of blooming almond orchards!  It is an amazing scene.  I was attracted to this view because of the road that zig zagged back into the distance.  

My friend and I set up our easels and painted the scene for several hours.  When I got home my painting surprised me!  The colors seemed so very washed out, which often happens when plein air painting.  I have a show coming up where we take a painting we did in plein air and enlarge it in our studio.  So I thought this scene would work for me.  So enjoy watching my process below.  

Painting on location

Working out the composition

Adding color washes to the canvas to cover the white canvas

Working on the road & back orchards
Adding under painting color to the right orchards

Refining the trees

Adding the blossoms

Testing the finished painting in its frame.

"Acres and Acres of Blooming Almond Orchards"
15" x 30"  oils  $2400