Friday, August 31, 2012

5 WATERCOLOR TECHNIQUES for TREES


There are almost as many ways to paint trees, as there are artists to paint them.







 Here are 5 different tree studies, with a variety of approaches you might try:



1)  BASIC TREE STUDY --

Sketch a tree in pencil, and then lay in the foliage and grass, with a light mingling of yellows & greens (quinacridone gold & sap green). . .







Wet each shape again, and add some darker/cooler greens & blues (quinacridone burnt orange/sap green and sap green/cobalt blue), to suggest volume.  Keep the first light/warm wash visible at the top of the clumps. . . 






When this has dried, paint the trunk, branches, and a simple cast shadow (using quinacridone bt orange, perylene maroon, and French Ultramarine).  Add a few dark marks for emphasis in the leaves. . . 







2)  UNDERPAINTING/SALT/NEGATIVE PAINTING -- Tree in Autumn


Do a mingling (wet-in-wet) of warm colors.  When the wash has just a "sheen" to it, sprinkle on some salt, and let it dry completely. . . 







After it's dry, brush off the salt, and draw a simple tree and grassy foreground line.  Paint the negative shapes with a mingling of colors (golds, oranges, reds, and a bit of green). . . 







3)  SPATTERING/MISTING -- Flowering Tree in the Spring


Draw a tree, lightly in pencil.  Paint the trunk and branches first . . . 






Loosely cover up the areas that you don't want spattered, and mist the exposed area with clear water . . . 






While these drops are wet, spatter some pinks and reds and magentas, and a little green.  Use a brush for this, tapping your finger to spatter the paint.  Then, spatter on some clear water, and then touch some of these drops with a brush loaded with the paint (pink, red, or magenta).  Let your brush "dance" across the paper, dropping in paint in a "lacy" way. . . 







4)  MASKING & MINGLING -- Palm Trees


Draw a palm tree, or two, in pencil. Then, paint a wet-in-wet underpainting, with quinacridone gold, cobalt blue, and quinacridone rose. . . 






Using watered-down masking fluid and a quill pen, apply the mask to the negative shapes -- everything other than the palm trees. . . (apply this with a Q-tip to the big shapes).






When this is completely dry, mist your paper with clear water, and mingle and spatter your warm colors -- (quinacridone gold and burnt orange, sap green, for the mingling; and cadmium red and cerulean blue, for the spattering) --






Let this dry completely, and then remove all the masking (with a rubber cement eraser, or your fingers).







5)  RAINBOW OF BACKGROUND COLORS -- Stylized Trees


In pencil, draw a group of stylized trees -- interweaving trunks and branches, with no leaves.  Take them right off the top and sides of your paper.  Then, draw a few wavy, horizontal lines, behind the trees. . . 







Leave the trees white, and paint the background shapes, in a rainbow of colors.  When the background is dry, erase all the pencil lines. . . 














   

15 comments:

  1. AWESOME!!! Your painting always blow my mind!

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  2. Thanks for the comment, Susan -- I really appreciate it!

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  3. Thanks for the awesome tutorials. I'll have to try most of these. :D

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  4. Dear Pat Howard I can't wait for tomorrow am to try all your techniques.They sound to be very easy.I have birch trees in my yard, that I have tryed to paint them during different seasons and I am going to use some of your methods.Thank you so much for sharing your talant .09.06.13

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    1. Wonderful! I hope you have fun trying the different methods. I love birch trees!

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  5. Thank you for the lesson! I did the negative white trees with the rainbow background. I did change one thing-I masked off the white areas to keep them separate. I could not figure out how to allow enough wetness to get the fading you have in the colors without them all bleeding into the trees! I did have a little bleeding under some edges after I removed the masking tape (don't have any fluid right now which probably would have worked better), but I touched them up with white paint. It's only my third watercolor, ever, so I am pretty pleased with the results. Next I will try your aspen leaves!

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  6. This was really great! Thanks so much for showing the step by step process!

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  7. Lovely! Your techniques are easy to follow. I love painting trees and am always interested in learning different ways to interpret them. Thanks so much!

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  8. I think you are a great teacher you really know how to explain something to a beginner thank you

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  9. These are very informative and brilliant ways to do trees.

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  10. Thanks for the techniques! I'm drawing trees in watercolour for my art exam and this helped me a lot!

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  11. This is absolutely beautiful, the colours remind me of sunsets.

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  12. Una lección magistral.
    Muchas gracia por enseñarnos tu gran sabiduría.

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