Watercolour

Watercolour Trees

I don’t know why but painting trees is something I’ve struggled with a little. So  some tree studies in watercolour were on the painting agenda yesterday…

Tree Practice 1 - NB
Tree studies on Khadi paper

I found a piece of left over Khadi paper (300 lb) and divided it up into 6 roughly equal squares. Just for the record it measured 21 cm x 23 cm.  I made each square different. For 4 of the 6 small studies I used a Terry Harrison Deerfoot Stippler brush for the foliage on the trees. This is a great inexpensive brush and perfect for the job.

For 90% of these tree studies I used ready made greens – Olive Green, Prussian Green, Rich Green Gold, Sap Green, Cascade Green (Daniel Smith watercolours). I did mix a little green from Winsor Lemon and Ultramarine Blue. Other colours used were New Gamboge, Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet, Burnt Sienna, Sepia, Lamp Black and some blues for the sky and water in the bottom right study.

This is the first time I’ve been reasonably happy with my watercolour trees. I will continue to practice of course – there are endless possibilities to explore…

Well, a new year has begun. I’m looking forward to new watercolour adventures and opportunities, new challenges… speaking of which – I have accepted my first watercolour commission… ! My watercolour work is currently not for sale but I have accepted this commission as a one off for someone close to me. More details about this in the months ahead…

Watercolour

Tree Studies

A few simple tree studies in watercolour:

Tree Study 2 - NB

Lemon Yellow was painted straight onto the paper and the Prussian Blue was overlaid, wet in wet, allowing the colours to mix into an assortment of different greens…

Tree Study 1 - NB

When I painted the above tree I was really only doodling with my left over watercolour paint in my palette. But I quite liked it, so I cut it out and stuck it into my watercolour workbook.

The foliage colours were dabbed onto the paper with a sheet of screwed up kitchen roll, I used Cerulean Blue and Sepia. The trunk was painted afterwards with Lamp Black. While the black paint was still wet I dropped a tiny dot of water onto the top of each branch so they would blend into the foliage….

Tree Reflections - NB

My tree reflections above were created using an interesting technique. Before adding the paint I first went over my paper with gum arabic, just in the area I wanted my tree reflections. Then dropped my paint into the wet gum arabic. The gum arabic slows down the spread of the paint creating the interesting feathery patterns above. You can click on the image to view it larger and see the feathery patterns more clearly. The tree line above the reflections was painted after the reflections. Colour used was Prussian Blue.

This is a really interesting technique – please do give it a go if you’ve never tried it before. You can use it for all sorts of things, not just tree reflections….

So here I have done three different was of painting trees. I will explore many more ways of creating trees as I continue on my watercolour journey….