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Same Subject, Different Conditions

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(Note: This is a sample of the November training report sent to DPA Inner Circle members. If you want the full report, you can join here.)

One of Claude Monet's defining processes was to paint the same subject over and over again under different conditions. The constant subject allowed him to carefully study the often subtle relationships between color and light.

I have been following in Monet's footsteps for the last two months. Every few days, I go for a run around a local park at Minnippi, Queensland. I take photos of the same few trees each time. I also make sure to go at varying times throughout the day and in varying conditions. These photos form the basis of my studies.

Of course, if I wanted to truly follow Monet's process, I would paint on location. But I prefer the comforts of my studio. I find it hard enough to stay organized in my studio, let alone in nature.

To date, I have produced four paintings in this tree series. The subject remains roughly constant—a feature tree with dappled light scattered across the grass.  The conditions vary.

The first depicts late morning on a clear day. The colors are crisp and the contrast is sharp.

Dan Scott, Wellington Point, High Contrast 2021
Dan Scott, Wellington Point, High Contrast 2021

The second depicts the powerful midday sun. The lights are glaring and the shadows are deep.

Dan Scott, Tree Series, 2021
Dan Scott, Tree Series, 2021

The third depicts a wet, overcast day. Pale greens dominate the painting. The scene is basked in a soft, cool light.

Dan Scott, Tree Series, Overcast, 2021
Dan Scott, Tree Series, Overcast, 2021

The fourth is the most striking painting. It depicts mid-afternoon on a sunny day, looking towards the light.

Dan Scott, Tree Series, High Contrast, 2021
Dan Scott, Tree Series, High Contrast, 2021

It's amazing how much the subject changes with the conditions. When you see the world like this, it's impossible to lack inspiration. Even the most simple of subjects can produce an infinite range of unique color combinations.

Thanks for reading! If you ever want to learn more:

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