Take a walk with me! Walk the watercolour pathway for just a moment……….
As some of you have read before, I do tend to go for a lot of nature walks!
I love the feeling of being outside, with all that lovely space! No four walls to close in on me.
As I walk along, I’m watching for different types of birds as well as listening to see if I can hear them, and how many I can hear. These Perth nature parks are filled with cockatoos, parrots, lorikeets, willy wagtails, honey eaters, galahs and …The Crow.
And of course, I’m always looking at the trees. The textures and colours of the trees’ bark is amazing; scribbly gum, angophora, iron bark, all sorts of ‘gum’ trees. Dimpled lavender, fiery red and burgundy, soft pale umbers, ceruleans, butter lemon yellows…. and so many more colours its just fun to count them all.
Creative Artistic License
I took a great deal of Creative artistic license with all these Tree themed scenes. I fired up some of the auburn red foliage, deleted some trees, changed other trees. I tore paper. I flattened out the tone of the sky. I wanted the final images to remind me… of the places I walk, not be the exact duplication.
And, to share with you how “with a smidgen” of imagination and creativity, you can alter a subject and make it special, make it …….. magical.
I can recommend reading books by Nita Leland and Tony Smibert as they are amazing encouragers of self expression and art process experimentation.
Creating Depth in Watercolours
In the very top painting, “Watercolour Trees” I created a sense of depth by using cooler colours in the background of the forest, progressively becoming darker and much warmer in the foreground. By keeping the back area soft and quiet I’ve increased the illusion of distance.
The background tree foliage was done using a brush movement upwards, slightly splaying the brush hairs just a bit. Enough to create that rough, lacy, uneven topline of the trees’ foliage. This is so much better than plain old smooth rounded edges, which will look unnatural.
Let it dry, then use a dark tone to create the barren tree trunks in a swift and sure upwards stroke. Be bold. Be brave. Timid and tentative will destroy the ‘natural flow’ of the landscape.
Having a nice little “lead the eye in” helps direct viewers’ into the painting. From the lower left diagonally upwards and right, I’ve led the eye towards the main tree.
Playtime and a bit of Creative Fun
I mixed terre verte, burnt umber and prussian blue ground pigments with water and gum arabic to create my paints for this image. Just for fun!
Dusk. The sun has set, the sky has changed to a cerulean blue green hue. Now, the foreground, the nearest foliage is in the dark, and an almost ominous intense pigment, prussian blue.
To counterbalance such a dark scene I have had to use white to add light tone into that area and create light tree trunks.
The other thing I’ve done is to set the image in a very large expanse of white paper to create the illusion that there is more Light in the composition than there really is.
The ground pigments burnt umber and prussian blue came out 3x darker than I’d planned; I could have used white to lighten them up, but I wanted to keep the paint more transparent. The terre verte pigment, came out just lovely and I was very happy with it.
Next time – when I mix up the other two, I’m going to add more water.
references and sources I have been encouraged and influenced by: