Swirling Vines, 12 x 16, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2017
Collection of the artist
The Georgia coastline and St. Simons Island are known for their huge Live Oak trees draped in Spanish Moss. I love them so much (and have since my first encounter), AND I find them very challenging to paint. There is just so much going on... this one was especially complicated, with tangled vines wrapped all around its multiple trunks.
Below is a photo of the scene and some process shots. You can see that I simplified the background quite a bit, a necessary sacrifice in order for the tree to emerge. One thing I have learned along the way is that you can't have it all! ;) (That is true for a lot of things, isn't it?)
Setting the scene... the tangled tree in a grove of Live Oaks.
In my initial sketch, I tried to establish the movement of the vines.
As the painting progressed, details came and went... and came back again!
When the light peeked through, I popped in highlights and final marks.
That moss? I dragged it in at the very end.