When I photographed the river Alde at Snape Maltings, I noticed a z-shape in the distant reaches of the river. Dark trees provide a contrasting horizon. On the right, the river takes the form of a triangle, outlined by its banks and overhanging foliage. To the left, the river is framed by reeds to create a similar triangle.
My aim was to showcase the tangled reedbeds whilst retaining the overall serenity of the scene. It is a painting in two halves – the sky, river and its banks are treated softly; the sharply outlined growth is portrayed in a more illustrative style.
The reeds on the left are painted realistically. For the tangled mass in the centre foreground, I used larger stalks to create a skeleton before filling the negative spaces with detail. Further to the right, I emphasised geometric shapes in the undergrowth. I used looser directional strokes to portray the swaying leaves. Vibrant blues, yellows and reds add vitality.