These paintings were done in response to a walk in my local park.  I was struck by the contrast between the dark shady areas and the sunlit greens and yellows.  The trees were all still largely bare of leaves and stood out sharply against the blue sky.

I divided the paper in two then masked off some areas to leave highlights.  I decided to work in watercolour plus some acrylic ink, a sepia pen and a charcoal pencil.

I started just laying in some wet washes with a large brush and the yellow ink, green gold watercolour, sap green watercolour and a dark made from what I call ‘dirty palette’ colours.  I washed in the sky with cobalt blue and allowed the colours to just blend without merging too much as I wanted to keep it looking fresh.

I drew in some trees with the sepia pen and with a watercolour mix of blue and brown, sprayed lightly with water and then worked into with the edge of a credit card to draw out branches.

When this was dry I tried to take the masking fluid off.  Unfortunately this proved difficult – it was a very old bottle and I should have tested it first.  The painting on the left had a lot of masking fluid on it so I decided not to continue with that one.  I managed to get most off on the right hand one and then added some paint back over areas to give a dappled effect.  It is still slightly tacky in places but I will leave it and see if it hardens.

I also did another one on a full size piece of paper at the same time.  I usually work on several at once, both to let areas dry and also as I can experiment more this way and try things on one then adapt on another in quick succession while the process / colour / mark is still fresh in my mind.

Watercolour Trees