Monthly Archives: July 2017

Tranquil Stream Landscape Painting

Tranquil StreamThis has been the summer of landscape painting. That theme is continued with today’s painting of a tranquil stream flowing past colorful trees.

I love painting these types of landscapes. It is made from splattering color onto wet paper and adding details once everything is dry. It is important when painting wet-into-wet that you don’t fiddle with the paint otherwise you create mud which can ruin a piece. I think a good way to prevent mud is to limit the number of colors used in a painting. My palette consisted of 5 colors – lemon yellow, sap green, indigo, burnt sienna, and burnt umber. I then mix these colors into secondary colors (e.g. the yellow and burnt sienna gave me the orange color I used in the trees). I also applied the colors strongly rather than painting multiple light washes. This helps keep the colors fresh and bright.

I’ll be sharing many more tips and tricks in my landscape painting class this fall. I hope you can join me; it’s going to be a lot of fun!

This painting and many more can be purchased from my art shop.

Until next time…keep those pencils sharp!


Painting Birch Trees

Painting Birch TreesI love painting birch trees; I think it’s a texture thing. Those dark scraggly patches stand out against the pale white-gray bark. Before I learnt how to paint trees I always thought it was so mysterious. How could an artist capture that kind of texture with watery paint? There are different ways of painting birch trees but the way I like gets nice results with a minimum of supplies and effort.

I begin by laying a wash of watery gray along one side of the tree. I use a damp brush to soften the edge and then I let it dry. This creates the rounded form of the tree. To make the texture I make a puddle of dark gray-brown (my favorite mix is indigo and burnt umber) then I apply it with a rigger brush held horizontal to the paper. This allows the paint to skip along the paper in an irregular pattern. The only challenge with this method is once you get started it is really fun so some restraint is necessary otherwise your trees look too striped (skinny zebras anyone?).

We will be painting and drawing trees in my upcoming fall classes. Classes begin in September, I hope you can join us.

This painting is available for sale from my Etsy shop.

Until next time…keep those pencils sharp!