One of the things we do ("assignments") in class is to do a Birch Tree painting. I feel it's a great exercise because of the many things we talk about while doing it and after. Things like texture (using various "tools"), values, colors (warm, cool, etc) atmospheric perspective, composition, and more. It still amazes me that some of these people have never even held a paintbrush! These are some of the results of our project. I am so in awe of how they just go right at it- especially since a blank canvas can be so intimidating. It's a great group because we all help each other and everyone supports each other. Lots of talent here, and I have a feeling they will keep painting.
Now as far as "Good Boy", that is my Birch Tree painting! I tried and tried, and couldn't stand what I was creating in those trees. Just wasn't making me happy. So.......one mark became a shoulder, then a figure, then a dog, and soon there was no evidence of a single tree. So that's a lesson in itself. If it just isn't happening for you, just make marks and see what it starts to look like. One of the students said yesterday as she worked on her painting, "This painting is telling me what it needs". I love that!
"Good Dog" is sold