Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tree - Hypothetical

Here is another little watercolour I painted while on holidays. It's based on a painting I found in "Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook" by Brenda Swenson, a very useful book. It's only 64 pages long, and fitted perfectly in my 10-kilo-only Ryanair cabin luggage. This book inspired me to fill my watercolour travel sketchpad. It's full of good advice, simple and practical ideas. While her paintings are more accomplished than I could ever aspire to, this book made me feel like I could try out her techniques and achieve results to be proud of.

I love my greens in this painting. This is the first time I've managed to do good greens with my Derwent Aquatone pencils (a set of 12). Normally, I'd just use the greens from the box, mix them with a bit of yellow, maybe. But they never looked natural. This time, I used the pale yellow and the green blue, and, if I remember correctly, I used the orange yellow instead for the top of the tree - it gives a more khaki sort of green.

I also found that if I mixed the 2 reds from the set (one is very pink, the other very orange, neither is great individually), I get a glorious "poppy" red, which you can see in one of my previous posts.

Oh, before I forget, I wanted to say that the Niji Water Brushes worked like a dream - fill the reservoir with water, brush on the watercolour pencil, mix colours together, and whenever you feel the wash is getting a bit dry, press the reservoir lightly and the water starts flowing again, creating a lovely smooth wash (now, I'm not sure how it would work on a larger painting, but it was great for my sketchpad)..

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