Saturday, 9 September 2017

Flaming Birch tree

While I was on painting vacation last summer I had sketched an birch tree and decided that day not to use the sketch for a painting. The sketch and the plans I had for it were still on my to-do list, so I have made the painting.
Maybe not exactly as I had planned in summer, but even now it is not so very different from the kind of painting I wanted to create.
The tree was having all of its foliage in summer but I managed to follow the lines of the major branches for the sketch. Now that I have suggested an autumnal tree, I could make the white branches stand out much more.

For the painting I have made a drawing of the outlines of the tree and the major branches and covered that area with colourless masking fluid. Once that was dry I used water and paint to create the background, the foliage and a suggestion of fallen leaves on the ground. I applied two layers of paint to create more intense colours for both the foliage and the dark background. With all paint dry I removed the masking fluid.
After that I started to fill in the shadows and the markings that are so characteristic for the birch trees. I also applied a third layer of paint on the top part of the foliage and the ends of the branches, suggesting the existence of foliage in front of those branches.

Experimenting like this with water, paint and the suggestion of - in this case a birch tree in autumn - is really nice to do. I have found that these experiments make my 'touch' in the more traditional landscapes a bit more relaxed, especially in the suggestions of the background. So every now and then, when I start to feel stressed about painting bushes and backgrounds I will make a few paintings like this. 
And of course when I feel like doing so, because - as I said before - this is fun!

More information about this watercolour painting (size, materials used, etc) can be found at my website 

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