Tag: forest

Sketching, Life and Nature

Sketching, Life and Nature

What is she  gazing down upon?

What is she,  thinking and what is she feeling?

By inferring, or hinting at things  just outside their view,   my objective is to engage the viewer more.


sketches pastel, natural poses, soft portrait drawing, limit palette for impact, debiriley.com
Sketches natural life poses … 5 minute fast and loose



Sketches Fast and Loose

Photographs often, though not always,  spell out a subject with exact precision.  Recording textures, veins, size, color, width, weight. Documenting location, species and the individual. And some types… of art styles do as well.

Which is great, when that is what is called for.  When that is the feeling you are wanting to convey.

A cataloguing of the details.


However,  its different with fast,  five or ten minute sketches.

Sketches done on the fly, capture the mood and essence of the thing.

Conveying the ‘feeling.’

Impressionistic.  Interpretive.


Embracing  Simplicity.

Rather than struggling to achieve 5 star wonders with  ‘complexities.’




Natural Poses

I feel,  Subjects are more authentic, truer to their essence,  when at rest.  At ease.

When allowed to be in a natural setting.

In nature.  Out in the forest,  sitting amongst the rocks and logs.  Being at home upon the banks of the river.

These poses,  can give the viewer  more.   Whether its in the form of photography, sketches, drawings, paintings, or other art forms.


This sketch, reflects this.

The limited palette of earthy browns and forest green, simple yet sufficient.  Hinting at woodland themes.   My subject sat leaned up against the tree logs and branches, head tucked.

Maybe she was the young mother, or older sister, or aunt. Who knows?   But she kept an eye on the child in pink.    An active one at that.

The hike there,  to the bridge was fun.  OK  a challenge!  But obviously, the child in pink still had plenty of go.  Her watcher…. not so much.  I smiled.


pastel portrait sketch, 5 minute portrait pastel, debiriley.com
Matted Pastel    –         “downward  gaze”


Using this format, and this pose as well  “downward gaze”   shifts the viewers minds.   To make them, ponder a bit.


Make the Viewer … Wonder

Take the viewer out of the little box where it is all explained already and nothing has been left unsaid.  Take them out the world they are currently in,  and help them to imagine the world this subject resides in.

Allude to mysteries and things around the corner.

Hint of magic yet to come.


Contemplations  of the River



If a book has been so well explained and summarized, there is nothing new or exciting left to be revealed by looking further in the book,  we will not.

So too with our art.

With our paintings, sketches, drawings, photographs.  We will look for the exact time that it takes to define the plot.

And then, we move on. Period.


I think,  as an artist,  I prefer to try to keep the viewer wondering. Just a bit.

Wandering through the scene, through the book… looking for, more.





Riverside… child at play



I do not, want my art to be ‘all spelled out’ and perfectly revealed in every fine detail.

No.  I’d like there to be a lovely fusion of lots of soft edges tempered with just the right balance of  crisp edges to draw the eye.   With warm colors telling you what is front, and cool paler colors speaking of far distant things.  Lines that are curved to soften  the mood,  with diagonal directionals for subtle hints of movements.

I’d like my sketches to be authentic.  My art to be original, and real. And me.


I aspire to keep my viewers, wandering through my artwork.


Realising,  of course,  not all are going to be lovely frame worthy pieces. Thats ok.


I’d much rather you, let your imagination free and loose;  than for me to have a frame worthy work every time.





Forest floral meditations

Forest floral meditations


Thats the word I’ve been contemplating lately. Both in paint form and photographic form.

Sign of the times, perhaps.


Araluen park, Perth flowers, macro flower photography, meditation in nature, debiriley.com
Loveliness, hidden in forest shadows


Flowers in the Forest


We were strolling through Araluen’s  forest and the quiet shadows, peacefully.

Araluen Park is a rare treat here in Perth.  Situated just minutes away in the hills, its high enough to achieve a bit of coolness.  Just enough for some of the more temperate Northern Hemisphere plants….. camelias, daffodils, hyacinth, pansies, violets.  These, don’t stand a chance down here in my scorching gardens of sand.



I was thinking.  Contemplating.

Contemplating that for me – photography is like a meditation.

Its art.

It is a type of loveliness, that I wish to share, with others.

Its a gift.

It is also a form of practicing good health.





I don’t pretend to think I’ll make millions on my art images.

Nor to be the most popular artist.


Indeed thats never been The Point.

 But to  enjoy the process of creative expression peacefully, with loveliness, sharing that very idea, with others.


Who then in turn can pass that idea along to others.

That. Is the Point.  For me.



The conveying of essence and spirit is what drives all my art, paintings and photographs.

Details. Precision.  Are Irrelevant.



Feelings matter most  

The heart is always  more important than  a machine like perfection.

For me.    We, are all different.




Araluen spring flowers, being in the moment, a meditational approach outdoors, nature photography, macro lavender purple flowers, lovely flowers debi riley art, debiriley.com
simply, Now….



Right Now

When I look at the firm edge of a floral petal emerging from the soft mistiness of the background, what do I really see and feel?

I feel grounded in this very present moment of now.

Not yesterday nor tomorrow.



The soft blurred foreground and background simply do not matter.

Only the single petal reaching out, exists at that moment.



That is a form of meditation.

Of peacefulness.

Of  loveliness.




No more chaos, right now….

When I see everything,  in 100% sharp focus –  the foreground, the middleground, and all the background as well…. it is just,  more of the chaos we are already bombarded with.


A bit of meditative respite, rest is called for.



Thus,  the reason why so many times you see so many bountiful, soft edges in my art images.

Inwardly, I think I’ve won a prize when one of these With its Soft Edges,  looks just right.  

When it is expressing: Loveliness.    



macro flowers in blue and lavender, Araluen spring flowers, debiriley.com
respite from the ‘chaos’


Stop. Pause, Look Closer

I hope this post has revealed to you a few insights into some of the forms meditation might take.

That you might begin to look at soft edges

with new eyes and a fresh understanding.


And, when you are walking

in the forest shadows,

you too, might

pause and breathe

and see the calm

pure loveliness of that moment.










Its Not Too Quiet Here

Its Not Too Quiet Here

A zen kind of day.

Contentedness…. in the calm.



zen of nature, contentment found in peace, debiriley.com
Content, in the Calm



There is a lovely balance found here;  out in this soft delicacy and peacefulness.

Its not too quiet, no.

I don’t think so. Not at all.




I Steal Time.

I sneak away.

To find hidden places within this city’s  boundaries.

To uncover the quieter, secret places, to discover their mysteries.

To have life unfold in its beautiful ways, for me.



Its not too quiet here.

I can breathe here.

Its clear here.

Its calm here.



It wasn’t far.

But I did leave civilization, behind.

No  smartphones.


No radios, no tv,  no crowds.

Just the camera and I sharing a zen moment.

Its a beautiful day.


Its not too quiet here.




The Quiet Joy In Nature

The Quiet Joy In Nature

In the forest.

There is more than meets the eye.

A bit of a zen stroll, a family excursion.

What, could be better? Care to join me?

creating a mood, conveying the atmosphere and feeling of the subject, forest photography, debiriley.com
Forest Peaceful Happiness


Forest  Light and Color

A lovely feeling is captured here….  In the forest.

Early Spring, still tipped with edges of coolness.

So Refreshing.


This photograph with all these lush layers, is one of the few snapshots I’m even tempted,  to actually paint from. That is a rare thing.


The enticing weave of branches.

All these overlapping layers of color.

The muted Spring light filtering through the trees and branches.

Creates a fabulously interwoven forest of enchantment.

Of Peaceful Happiness.   



Spring Magnolias

Early Spring sunshine lights these magnolias wonderfully.

Its a tucked away place just outside of Perth, Western Australia.

The inviting and peaceful Arulean gardens.

Our family was fortunate enough to go on a day the weather wasn’t too hot.

It was just right!




convey feelings in photography, nature, tulips, spring gardens, debiriley.com
A Quiet beauty……


Quietly in Nature

Still in the gardens.


Right at the edge of the forest, with the Spring light just barely touching the tulips’ tips.



It is a beautiful day.


A day filled with peace…. and a wonderful sense of quiet happiness.  




Partner Posts on Nature, Forest, Strolls 

Forest – Come  Into The Forest  With Me … a Stroll 

Forest –  All INKED Up… the Forest 

Forest- The  Inspiration –  



Walking in the Green Woods (Daniel Smith Watercolors)

Walking in the Green Woods (Daniel Smith Watercolors)

How much fun can you have – just walking in the green woods?


painting in the forest, walking in nature, painting trees and forest greens, painting with Daniel Smith watercolors, debiriley.com
Walking in the Green Forest… endless fun


or just splashing and mixing paints?



I had endless  fun. Both during my short walk and after, while creating these pretty little foliage green mixes.



painting landscapes with Daniel Smith watercolor greens, walking to fill the well, painting nature, foliage greens, meditative art, debiriley.com
The Greens of the Woods,  Daniel Smith watercolor greens


With only a few brief moments to play,   I decided to go ahead and run with it anyway.

I just felt the need to get out the greens and mix!



Forest Greens

Endlessly Fascinating.



I really don’t know how it is possible to become bored …. not with all nature’s treasures around us.

Nor with all these paints waiting to be mixed.


Colors splashing in a rush,

upon the paper

creating intricate


in greens, lilacs, blues and fresh citrus lemon.


zoisite, emerald, green apatite, serpentine, sleeping beauty turqoise Daniel Smith watercolors, painting landscapes, debiriley.com
Zoisite, Emerald, Green Apatite watercolor greens


Color Mixing 

Not everyone is as passionate about color and mixing as I am.

For many, there must be a product.


For me,  This Is  the product.

The process is the product.

My enjoyment and relaxation,  is the purpose.



And so, to me,  this is the end result.

I didn’t have a burning requirement to ‘do a picture and get it hung up for viewing’  as my goal.

As time goes on, I’m much more motivated to paint and create simply for my own amusement. My own relaxation and enjoyment…. than someone else’s smile and nod.




My objective was to become immersed in the colors.

Just as I was immersed in the  greens of the forest.




The walking in the green woods……


fun in the forest, walking in nature, creative photography of trees and parks, debiriley.com
Forest Adventures  …  debiriley.com (c) 2017


There is so much to see out in these walks.

I never know if I might find a pond, or a bird.   Or sunlight filtering magically through the trees.

It is always a little mini adventure with these Zen Strolls.





What I might discover this time.


Paintings and Photographs of zen greens and zen forest walks.       Come into the forest with me……. 

Tiny people, giant trees, forest in WA, debiriley.com
Green Woods of Denmark


watercolor outdoor painting, plein air watercolor tips, watercolor greens, debiriley.com
Watercolor Forest,  Tigers Eye & SB Turquoise



green tree grove, Waiting on a Friend debiriley.com
Green Grove….Waiting On A Friend



Forest grove, Daniel Smith watercolors, Green Apatite Daniel Smith, Cobalt Teal blue pg50 Daniel Smith, Zoisite green, Pool Forest Edge Inspiration, watercolors, debiriley.com
Forest Grove, Daniel Smith watercolors



Zen Greens in King's Park, Perth WA, debi riley abstract art, debiriley.com
Forest Zen Greens …reflected into the pond


Daniel Smith watercolors foliage greens, Zoisite and Apatite watercolors, foliage green mixes, debiriley.com
Zoisite and Apatite watercolors debiriley.com


Blue Heron, stream, photograph, debiriley.com
Forest Edge,  the Blue Heron Stills



About the Daniel Smith Watercolor Greens

Zoisite –  a FAV!  love this one. its a greyed off green, perfect for distant hills.  this color creates great textures

Amazonite – lovely blue green with fabulous clarity and mixing abilities, great for water

Serpentine – an Australian found green pigment, green yellow and granulates a bit

Green Apatite – from bright yellow green to midtones, it is a wonderful mixer with zoisite green

Tigers Eye – a green/brown color with granulation properties  that mixes with green apatite well

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise – a pale cool blue green that makes lovely seas and tropical scenes

Diopside Genuine  – known as Russian Emerald, it is a rich and deep green. Sometimes in dilute washes hints of earth are seen settling into the paper.