Saturday, October 8, 2016


Watercolor Class Project: Windblown Week 2

This week we added in the foreground tree. I chose the golden color for this tree because it will go well with the green.

I added some highlights and suggested shadows to the background tree by lifting out color with a damp brush for the highlights and adding a bit of ultramarine blue to my green to darken it for the shadows.

After removing the masking fluid, I under painted the foreground tree with a very diluted color made with yellow and a touch of burnt sienna. this is a very light tint of a wash. You can see 4 different layers in this photo. Remember: in watercolor you work from light to dark so you must leave your light areas if you want highlights. (I am still working on these branches)

Working in layers of color - sienna with a touch of orange and water as my base - I deepened the color of the trunk adding touches of blue or purple for the darker shadows into the base color or orange and yellow for the golden, warmer colors. I did leave some of the under painting for highlights in the tree and to create the texture I used the very edge of my 1/4 angle brush, just tapping it to create the texture of the bark. I was also following the angles of the trunk, branches and roots with my strokes and tapping.

To suggest that there are grasses at the base of the tree and around the roots, using my 1/4 inch angle brush, I used the tree color and negative painted the grass. What that means is I was painting the root but leaving the suggestion of grass in the color that was there. You are painting the root between the grass blades.

More negative painting.

Once I had the main branches mostly painted in, I switched to my liner brush to make the smaller branches. Note the color change in the image to the left, the color is the very same color as the lighter color but because the lighter color was where I had masking and the darker part of the branch is going over an area that already had color, the existing color influences the new layer of paint that I put down because watercolor is suppose to be transparent and all previous layer will effect any new layers that go on top. You need to remember this as a watercolorist.

Be sure when you get going on your branches and twigs that you put enough in to make it look like tree branches. Go out and look at trees and see how many there actually are and how they get smaller as they go to the ends. Also don't be afraid to overlap your branches or change directions, again, look at those trees, this is a very natural thing for them to do.

Try to have you painting to this point for our next class. We will continue to work on the tree and maybe finish it up. Keep painting and I will see you in class.

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