8/5/11

Forest for the Trees

PPF and Inspiration Ave collided this week with an exploration of trees.  My inspiration was a photo I found somewhere on flickr with a very vivid sunset and then all these trees in water in stark silhouette.  Here are my varied and humble attempts at capturing it in watercolor.  I tried over and over and find fault with each effort, but there is also something I like about each.  I tried out a new brush and leaf/tree painting technique that I kinda liked, but again, needs more practice.



Like the shapes of the trees but the shadows at the bottom are just a gray blob -


Shadows are MUCH better but don't like the harsh line of demarcation between sky colors.


Better water and shadows, but less interesting big tree shapes - what's a girl to do???


Best sky/water blending, but colors seem a little garish - nice trees with okay shadows, not the best.  Okay, I guess I still need to work on this but it was a fun exercise to come up with so many versions of essentially the same painting.

Visit other talented artists today at Paint Party Friday or Inspiration Avenue .  It's my first participation at Inspiration Ave so not quite sure how it all works.  Keep Creating!!

REVISED TO ADD:  I had a couple of folks ask about what brush and technique I used, so here you go if interested.  I used my new fan brush, heavily loaded with Payne's gray and pushed strongly against the page in an upward motion to give the width to the pounced stroke.  Almost like a stenciling motion.  Lots of reloading cuz I wanted it really black and it kept drying too light.  The centers are obviously dabbed more densely and then tapering as I shaped the branches but you can still see the result of the pushing motion since they have width, not just little grass like shapes like usually come with a fan brush.  Trunks and branches were added later with a round brush.

26 comments:

  1. How IMPRESSIVE. You kept at it and I love each of these variations on this theme. Truly a joy to see these trees (the theme) in watercolor.

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  2. What a great exercise. There is something to like about each one, and I really like the tree shapes.

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  3. Your trees are great, each picture is different, and each one is good in its own way! Hugs, Valerie

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  4. such elegant reflections,, beauitful

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  5. Hi Terrie, love this painting..reminds me of Japanese woodcut prints...very romantic..

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  6. Terrie, all the versions are beautiful in their own ways. I do like the last one best with the vivid sunset colors. I am interested in knowing what this new brush and tree technique might be. It sounds like something we could all benefit from.

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  7. I agree with Faye would love to know your new brush and tree technique. The paintings are all great for different reasons. Enjoy the weekend, Happy PPF, Annette x

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  8. Welcome to the IA challenge- this is perfect for this week's theme! And I love the way you explained what you did and why; it's just like sitting in another artist's studio....fun!

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  9. Love it! Reminds me of Chinese Brush Painting in a way ~ Well Done ~ Bravo!
    Happy PPF ~ Carol ^_^ (Share the Creative Journey)

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  10. I like your trees too. Yes, they are somewhat Asian.

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  11. Very cool! I see your pros and cons but I still like them all very much.

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  12. Thanks, Terrie, for the added explanation. I have fan brushes so I will definitely try this out. I can see that it probably does take a bit of practice to get the effect you got. It may take me a month or so to get any to look like trees. Great job!

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  13. You will have to share this technique ;0) these are lovely and such subtle colours too ;0) Dxx

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  14. I love this technique - the trees look fantastic - and very exotic! I like each of your different tries at it - although there is something you don't like about each of them, I think they're all lovely and make a great series!

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  15. So beautiful. It looks like a foggy sunrise. Very oriental-looking. The tree silhouettes are great!

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  16. All these look great! I love that you painted the same scene again and again. I've tried that (well, painting the same thing twice) a couple times and it really is helpful, but it does show me how much more I need to learn with watercolors. I'm so inconsistent. It's easy to find fault with our work, isn't it?

    Happy PPF!

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  17. It's interesting to see how you improved on each one. I didn't see anything wrong with the first one, but each one does look even better than the one before.

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  18. All of these are magical Terri. They make me fell like I'm experiencing an evening fog rolling in and then the sunset. Love them!

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  19. Thank you for explaining the technique with the fan brush. So far I've never tried the fan brush, but then I'm such a newby to watercolor painting. I'm really bad at it but I have also lots of fun. As you say it needs a lot of practice.
    I like the different paintings you show us here, it is so interesting to look at them and then read what you thought about it. Actually I like all of them very much and think that you might be a little harsh on yourself. I would be so proud if I could create something like that!

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  20. Fascinating!!! I love how you showed us all the different versions! I think you are too hard on yourself, they all looked beautiful to me!!!!Deb

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  21. This is lovely. I have seen days like this...low mist where only tree tops show themselves.

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  22. Don't be so hard on yourself... they are all beautiful! =) Happy Paint Party Friday on Sunday!
    Nat

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  23. I think every one is beautiful, nice work.

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  24. Beautiful - they have an ethereal fantasy effect to them that tickles my imagination. They all look good but the one I was most enchanted by was the top one.

    Thanks for visting my blog. Pleased you could join us at Inspiration Avenue & I do hope you'll join us again!

    Kat :-)

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  25. Awesome trees, love the airy quality of them.

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  26. Beautiful, elegant, and tranquil.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to add a comment. I value what you think!