Oak Trees – LInes, No Lines

Tired of being indoors, I pulled a bunch of stuff out to the side patio – paints, brushes, water, chrome book, water, palette, head phones, ink, pencil, pen.  I played a bit and mixed up some greens using yellows and blues, and phthalo green.  I don’t like having only phthalo green on my palette, but that is what I had.  I like sap green and Hooker’s.  I also like Payne’s Grey.

Being outdoors means being cramped on a really small table, so everything was jumbled up.  The goal was to just be outdoors and do something.  So, I used some photos of trees I have taken over the years.

The first tree was one I took the other morning when out on a shoot with my friend Tom.  Here is the photo:

And here is my rendering in line and colors:

And then a photo from April 2015:

And the results – no lines, only the intention to paint light and dark, contrast, whatever:

I’ll tell ya, this last painting was painful!  I noticed that most of my colors tend to be pastel – a lot of water, not a lot of paint.  I felt like I was beating up my poor brushes trying to get deep colors with more pigment than water.  Wetting the colors a bit before might help.

In my opinion, neither painting is especially sophisticated or elegant.  I will say that despite its primitive quality, I am pleased with the lineless painting as I did accomplish something.

Does your head feel totally stirred up when you try something alien to your normal ways of doing things?  Mine always does and it takes awhile to return to orbit.

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.