Dawn Palm

It seems that the soundtrack of my most memorable vacations and adventures has always involved the rustle of palm fronds. This was an early morning sight, recorded while sipping coffee with toes in the sand. As I watched, the sun caught the center of the tree, chasing the early morning shadows away and firing up another brilliant tropical day.

I started with an accurate value study done in Burnt Sienna. This establishes not only the placement of the elements, here is where I design the pattern of lights and darks.

After letting my underpainting dry for a couple of days I began by laying in the clear blue sky that so beautifully set off the brilliant lights and deep darks of the palm.

Then I moved to the tree itself, beginning by placing my lightest lights and the darks of the deepest shadows. 

Then days were spent in finding all the middle tone greens that make up the bulk of the image and then color balancing and fine tuning. I stopped when I could actually hear the rustle of the fronds.