116. Podocarpus

Our backyard was filled with about 18 trees, far too many for the allotted size.  We had 5 trees removed and the remaining pruned backed.  Eventually all but 2 will be removed, roots dug out, stumps ground down.  I don’t know what this guy was thinking when he put in all these trees – I had neighbors I didn’t even know I have stop to tell me how much nicer it looked and they had “told” him he was putting in far too many.  We can actually see the sky at night!

That said, after the crepe myrtle, I moved onto the podocarpus, which are rather lovely or ugly trees, depending on my mood!  For now,  I’m just doing simple things – not that these leaves were simple.  The leaves of the podocarpus in our yard have leaves that grow in clumps, rather like bamboo in shape, but totally not bamboo.  Still, the leaves may be painted with the tip of the brush, a bit of downward pressure, and then a rise to complete the shape.

I tried to paint around highlit areas – making a leaf or leaf shapes with green, and then working toward the darker areas.

I keep forgetting what a challenge watercolor can be, but it makes me so happy to do it, whether or not I am especially successful!

115. Crepe Myrtle

For the first time in weeks, I have had the wherewithal to paint.  These past few months have been rather nuts, and the mental space to focus on the simple pleasure of painting has not been mine to enjoy.

This morning, I sat down under the big umbrella in the back yard, pulled out my iPad, and took a few pictures of some low-growing crepe myrtle branches and flowers.  A water brush, a sketch book, and no expectations.

Parts are good – parts not so good – contrast is lacking – but I am feeling pleasantly surprised about this small sketch.

More tomorrow!

114. Kitty Bliss

Charlie over at Doodlewash set up a September paint-along calendar – something I think he does every month.  September 1st is orange cats.  September is Pet Rocks.  Initially, I thought I would combine the two, but the fact is, Pet Rocks are not in my lexicon of “things I like” so I thought I’d just go with the orange cat.

I think it will be fun to at least get some inspiration from whatever subject near the date I pick up a brush.  Sometimes some structure or direction helps you get off your dupa and get moving.

Have you ever tried drawing animals?  Cats and rats or mice seem to be ones I “get”!