Sunshine & Shadow in the Oak Grove

I went off for a morning walk in the local botanical garden, taking pictures with my phone (and film camera) looking for contrasty bits of landscape to paint.  I took a lot, much to my surprise.  What I found was dappled sunlight more than anything as the garden is in its summer glory with trees leafed out and bright sun trying to break through the canopy.

Truthfully,  this painting is considerably more lush in color than the photo as we are in August, in hot weather, and the vegetation has dried and browned from a lack of rain.  I really worked to create a gouache painting reflective of the photo, but couldn’t hack it!  It was so dreary!

What I did like best, though, was simply the experience of a slow ramble through the garden.  There were birds, scents of pine and sage, butterflies, the buzz of bees, bird song, caws from crows.  I think, perhaps, the painting is more reflective of the richness of the experience of the garden rather than its current shades of beige, brown, and green.

 

California Oak Trees

Today, my little Meetup group went to a local place, the trail by the Chumash Museum nearby my house.  (The Chumash are a California tribe.)  We were there for about an hour.  I began with a pencil sketch, and then, color.  We were settled in a small oak grove, with dark and light contrast about as contrasty as you can get.  At the end of the hour, this is what I had painted, knowing full well I would look at it and work it a bit once home.

Once home, I looked at the painting.  Still a need for contrast, and a bit more detail.  More pen, more ink brush, more colors, and some warmth.

Overall, the one above came out okay, but if you look on the mid-right, to the left of the furthest trunk, there is a bit of an odd space, so I went in and worked it a bit with ink to try to mitigate it.  I found it very distracting.  Here is the final image below.

The area has a few more lines in it, a bit busier, but somehow more in keeping with similar areas of the painting.

I used Koi watercolor brushes and the following paints:  Quinacridone Gold, Naples Yellow, Hansa Yellow Medium, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Teal, Ultramarine Blue, Indanthrene Blue, Phthalo Green, and Burnt Sienna.  I used a Stillman & Birn Beta Series 8×10 inch softcover notebook, and scanned the images using my trusty, not rusty, Epson V600.  Ink is Carbon Ink, and an ink brush.