Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lazy River - Part 2: The Trees

Lazy River
Watercolor 11" x 15" Mats to 16" x 20"

Part 2:  The Trees

As mentioned in last week's blog, there are three main elements to this painting.  Now that the grass and foliage have been painted, I will discuss how to paint the trees; and we will finish with the water next week. 

How to Paint the Trees:
Use a small round brush (a No. 4 or No. 6) and paint green bands ACROSS one of the tree trunks with a dilute mix of indigo, turquoise, and yellow.  While still wet, define the trunk of the tree by quickly dragging a wash of Payne's Grey quickly down (vertically) through the bands of wet paint.  The paint will run horizontally to suggest branches.  Paint one tree at a time so that the paint is still wet when the Payne's Grey is applied.  This is a handy technique to paint trees quickly. 

After this initial wash has dried, paint the bark on the trees using Burnt Sienna--don't over do it.    Work from the wrist to make natural shapes that are not too "set" and geometric in shape. 

Finish the trees using a rigger or liner brush to put in the smaller branches. 

Watercolor Trivia:
In the 19th century, marine artists and architects often used a tail feather of a woodcock to paint fine, even lines.  The feather, which is very springy and holds a surprising amount of color, works like our current fine liner brush or a rigger. 

Next week, we will finish this painting by putting in the water element!

Happy Painting!

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