Today’s study subject is trees. I’ll start out with an American elm tree that’s a volunteer in my yard and some call a “Trash” tree. Well I’ll take that because it’s fast growing and will provide privacy especially if the pines on my neighbor’s side get hit with a bug or a freeze. Besides, you can’t beat the cost! Speaking of trees that have a similar maligned reputation, please check out Leslie’s lovely painting of a cottonwood tree changing its foliage. It’s stunning.
This picture was taken several days ago. You can see the collapsible water bottle hanging from an S hook on the front of the en plein air easel and I have my small sketch pad with value sketch propped up behind the other water cup. The paper towel roll is precariously hanging on the crank handle for the tripod. It’s a partial plan! we’ll see how it works. Perhaps the best thing “in the field” would be wearing a half height apron with big pockets.
I worked on it again today putting in darker sides on the shaded side and adding foliage here and there over the already dried lighter foliage. I really studied the foliage structure of the tree and how the branches went up away from the trunk.
There are a variety of techniques with this including wetting a clump of foliage first and then putting in thicker valued pigment to create softer edges. I also did the branches leaving big gaps that I later filled in with a foliage clump. Some other times I spritzed lightly to get a softer effect and went in with darker thicker pigment. I got carried away and it’s wider than what a sapling trunk would probably support, but oh well. It was fun to try.
After that I worked on another study of the pine tree, but just the mid trunk area. I have a brush called a dagger striper that I haven’t practiced much with, and it worked quite well to make the long needles that are characteristic of this pine. Before I figured that I could use that brush, i pulled down some color along the bottom edge of the bottom clump (as an example) and after using the dagger, I am happier with the thinner marks that you see at the top of that clump, under the branches. Another technique to add in would be using a damp skinny flat to lift out branches that would appear to be catching the light.
I will do another more serious study of it working on the color mingling and then only putting a touch of the needles in here and there. It will have a more professional and fresh look. Better to suggest than to hit the viewer over the head…but I got caught up in playing!
Again, as always, thanks for stopping by and leaving comments. They are really appreciated.