Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lesson #27 Painting Another Tree in Watercolor

This will be the last ingredient before doing our complete painting of a sunset. Tomorrow will be the day! Let’s paint another kind of tree today.

Start with a stretched and dry piece of watercolor paper. Notice I have one stapled here to a piece of plywood. Sketch the shape of a tree as I showed you in lesson #26.

Begin painting little dabs of light green (I used sap green) onto little sections of leaves at a time, leaving some little areas where the white paper shows through. Before it is dry, swish your brush in clean water, let the excess water go by dabbing your brush lightly on a paper towel. then touch the edges of the painted leaves with just enough water to “smudge” them (as I have done above). Leave little white areas of paper still uncovered.


Continue little areas at a time until the whole tree is painted with the illusion of leaves. They are actually paint scribbles!

Next, we’ll add a little depth by doing the same thing with darker green by mixing light green with it’s compliment, red (the color straight across from it on the color wheel – see Lessons #8 and 9). But don’t cover all of the light green on your tree. Leave some areas for the light green and white paper to show through. Continue in little sections at a time until finished.

Now mix some brown with a little blue, red, and green in the right proportions. Just experiment on your pallet or mixing dish until you are happy with the color. More red makes a reddish-brown. More blue makes a grey-brown. Sometimes I have to wipe my mix dry and start over many times until I get the color I want!

And paint in the trunk and branches. Paint a few branches over some leaves – just a hint – and let some just disappear by not painting at all. It helps to have a small paintbrush for this technique.

There you are! I’ll have the sunset painting demonstration posted some time tomorrow evening if all goes well!