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To capture the essence of the Tamarack I wanted to show its long, wispy branches that bend easily under the weight of snow. To show individual branches I would have to paint them against a dark background, keeping in mind that this background should not be as dark as the shadows in the foreground or it will not look more distant. Therefore, I began this painting by adjusting the two dark areas–the shadows behind the little Tamarack in the center, and the shadows in the foreground.
Then I made sure, in photo #5, that the little Tamarack stood out sufficiently clearly before I painted the rest of the trees. I made them less brilliant to keep the viewer’s eye on the little guy in the center.