Weekend painting – more trees

Inspired by Tom Lynch’s impressive tree skills (very handy as he seems to have a lot of golf course commissions) I tried out a 1″ flat brush, a new rigger brush and some splattering.  Pretty successful and not a lollipop in sight.

I’ve been looking around this week and have become preoccupied with tree shapes.   If you actually pay attention to the tree structure the underlying branches are much  more visible that I previously thought.

For example here.  Branches are visible, especially towards the bottom of the tree and in the middle.   These branch additions using the rigger seem vital if you want to capture the ‘treeness’ of trees.

Okay.  Not all trees turn out so good.

Art class number 4

Two paintings this week.  Not too unhappy with this one although getting a vertical spire seems to be beyond me.  Pleased with the wet in wet in the foreground and the background trees.  Attempted some dry brush with the leafless trees which didn’t really work.

Close up of the spire.  The rough paper was stopping me putting in the detail (hence the wonky spire amongst other things).   Quite like this one.

Trees and different paper

Rough paper.  Easy to get texture in the leaves and foreground

Cold pressed paper.  Leaf texture is not too bad but I had to try *really* hard to get it.  It’s very easy to end up with lollipops.

My mini watercolor moleskine and niji waterbrush.  Almost impossible to get texture with these but the combination is fine for sketching.


So I wasn’t very happy with the last picture – composition was off, colors were off, everything frankly not right.   After reading Philip Jamison’s book
Making Your Paintings Work

 and learning that he often reworks paintings i.e lifts off colour with a sponge and repaints I decided to do the same thing.

Here is the result.

(Edit: This is after a few months from the original reworking post.  I’ve added in some branches to the trees to make them look more realistic and also added in some windows/doors to the house so it doesn’t look so bare)

Now it’s not going to win any prizes but I think it is a definite improvement.  The colours are more unified and the brushwork is less slapdash but still has some life to it.  The composition is still awkward – the house doesn’t sit happily and there needs to be less horizontality (is that a word?) in the foreground but overall a definite improvement.   (Time taken: about an hour)
I’ve always been wary of reworking as I don’t want to risk that most terrible of sins, muddiness.   Today’s efforts however have made me reconsider.  And, frankly, given what I started with it couldn’t have got any worse :

New rough paper

I splashed out $5.99 for some Arches rough watercolor paper and here is the result.   The colors are off because it was basically dark by the time I’d finished but the brush strokes were much easier.  Note the nice dry brush work on the foreground and the tree foliage.  Not much to write home about overall but not too shabby.
Note – I get sixteen of these to one sheet – it’s not $5.99 per doodle.