[updated 5.11.2010] Here's how the painting is looking now. I was going to call it done, but I'm not happy with the tree, so will probably do some more work on it. The light to dark is too 'cut' and the overall shape is too 'clean'. But, I put the easel away for a bit so I can focus on some more drawings right now.
Another palette knife painting in progress, this one is on a 30" x 15" canvas that I'm calling "Midnight Fire". The "Midnight" painting I did a few weeks ago was the inspiration, and now I have a whole collection of images in my mind. Hopefully I can do enough of these to form a series. And hopefully, I will figure out how to shoot the black paint without so much flash glare. I think I will pick up a flash diffuser and see if that helps.
Anyway, to start this painting, I first laid down an undercoat of black paint with a brush, then taped off the horizon line and cut out the tree shape with paper, also taped down to the canvas. Then I went to town with thick, heavy paint for the sun-scorched sky. I managed to get a lot of really great texture with the palette knife, and am really enjoying the freedom of it.
Now that I've posted a WIP here, I hope it motivates me to get more done this weekend.