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Painting Trees: Part 2

August 30, 2011

Painting Trees : another tutorial in watercolr

I have found that many of my blog viewers visited my blog while searching ‘painting trees in watercolor’. So here I am submitting another tree tutorial. I have included a second stage initial pencil sketch. ‘Second stage’ refers to a larger version taken from a group of similar kind of sketches. You never know which will work best unless you sketch a bit more. I mean to say several sketches will give you opportunity to select and compose a composition from a variety. Initial sketches could be small in size, may be the size of your palm. I believe before gong for a detailed drawing we should practice a little. It is like warm-up exercise before the final match (I did not say ‘grand finale’, as we are far behind of that)! The first round of sketches will help you to understand the ‘form’. Everything has its own shape, especially for an organic object. A mango does not look like an apple, s they the trees are. Frankly speaking I have never seen a Quaking Aspen tree before (or may be I have seen it in Kashmir!, but till now I did not know the name). So the first challenge was to understand the ‘form’. Once understood, I took two trees to make a nice composition. Though it is very simple and it does not contain any other elements (except foreground bushes), still their placement will share a ‘relationship’ in the composition.

The second stage of sketching was to understand the light and shade of the bulks of leaves. You might have notice every tree has a unique bulk of leaves stacking one after another. They are connected through the stem and brunches. This is very important part to identify or notice. If you could do it properly for a period of time, you can draw any tree without a reference. Here in Calcutta we are asked to study foliage as much as we can. I used to go to villages twice or thrice in a week for study nature with pencils and watercolor. Today I really regret that I can not afford time for studying nature though I try to visit remote villages whenever I get time. Anyways here is the sketch (a quick one).

Sketch of a Quaking Aspen

Though I was a student of applied art in my graduation, still I hate tracing. While sketching the same for watercolor I have tried to keep the ‘essence’ of the trees, that means they may not look like the ‘same’ but you feel that it is an ‘adaptation’ of those trees. I always believe that nobody will cross check the original and what I have painted. That is the difference between an illustration and a painting. Below I have attached the painting. Normally we start with the leaves but since I would use dry brushing I have started with the stem. A rough textured handmade paper has been used. I made a thin mixture of Paynes Gray, Cerulean Blue, Mauve, Yellow Ocher and Burnt Sienna. Though 5 colors have been mixed the tint should give you a bluish gray look. As we I reached the lower part of the stem I suddenly add more Burnt Sienna and Mauve. Now the mixture is thicker than the previous one. I also sketched a few branches with a thinner tint of the first one. First part is done. Wait till it dries. After that I started dry brushing with a mixture of Gamboge (most probably Cadmium Yellow in your term) and Yellow Ocher and added Light Green and Hookers Green as need for the shadow parts. After drying I started defining the shapes of leaves and their groups. For that I used darker tone of the previous mixtures. I also worked on the stems so that they could look lively. Later I carefully painted the sky and foreground bushes. Now you can see we have background, middle ground and fore ground. Those trees do not look like pasted on the paper. DONE!!! Try one yourselves and please do comment. I can not understand whether viewers are liking my posts or not. Why don’t you give me some links of your works? I can learn from them.

Quaking Aspen in Watercolor

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3 Comments
  1. where can I sub to your feed?

    • Anindya permalink

      i really don’t know. 😦 but people have subscribed to my blog.

    • Anindya permalink

      hey, i have added a feed at the bottom of the home page 🙂

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