Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rowan Berries (14"x10")

One of the most beautiful fall sights is a flaming "Mountain Ash" or Rowan tree. It's clumps of red berries coupled with the gorgeous multi-colored leaves is hard to resist. Some leaves were an interesting combination of red and green - tough to paint that's for sure. Others were orange-red, deep burgundy, golden, pink... an amazing variety for a single branch. Such a treat to look at and to paint.
I began by painting directly (no pencil lines) thinking that I'd have a fresher look and impression. I sprinkled a bit of salt over the area I intended for the berries and let it all dry. Yesterday I pencilled in various shapes and puttered at it off and on... defining a leaf here, a berry clump there, and generally making a variety of leaf and branch shapes. I added some darks behind the leaves and defined some veins by wetting and lifting out with a towel (an old cotton tea towel works great for this). I lifted out some negative leaf shapes the same way. Adding a few dark tips on the berries and glazing a few small berry clumps with blue to push them back a bit finished it off.
I had fun signing this painting. The right bottom was quite dark so I decided to lift out the signature. I used my rigger to paint my name with clear water and rubbed it with the towel to lift off the dark paint and reveal the letters. Enjoy!

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