Memorial Day Tribute

A small token of my gratitude for those who served and sacrificed their lives for Freedom.

No Thank You could be enough for those who gave their lives for our freedom or their families. In my humble opinion everyday should be Memorial Day – Always Remembered, Always Honored.

Jim put our flag up on Thursday and since then I have been looking at the scene knowing I needed to paint it for Memorial Day. The trees form an arch over the flag, that make you appreciate this great nation everytime you look at it. But I was very apprehensive, I have just started painting again and am not confident nor do I feel like my skills match the task of a Memorial Day Tribute painting. Memorial Day, however isn’t about me, it is about those who have given everything for their country. A tribute to them really doesn’t need to be perfect, just heartfelt, so this morning I made myself get out my pastels and paint. I spent almost 4 hours with the pre-drawing and underpainting, but I have to admit that I am pleased with the painting – pleased enough to call it a tribute and share it.

I tried a black and white pre-drawing today, to make sure the composition worked but also that I had the dark and light areas set and that they had a nice flow.

Black and white pre-drawing

Black and white pre-drawing

I did use contrasting colors for the underpainting which I really enjoyed, I think it helped make the colors I was using pop.

Watercolor underpainting

Watercolor underpainting

In the final painting I tried a new technique for the leaves on the branches, going back to a basic stroke to show direction verses lines and areas to show depth. I like this a much better. With such large areas of green, when I painted for depth it was difficult to tell what went with what branch or tree. I will continue to work on this technique and see what I can do with it.

2016 Memorial Day 9 x 12 Strathmore Pastel Paper

2016 Memorial Day
9 x 12
Strathmore Pastel Paper

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