The Lightning Tree

Near where we live there is a tree which has been struck by lightning – aptly named, the ‘Lightning Tree’.  I managed to get a sketch of it the other day.  It’s not the best but for me it represents a step forward as this was the first time I have been able to relax while sketching outside.

This is the sketch:

lighteningtreesketchI saw a you tube video where the artist painted a silver birch last night so I thought I’d have a go at this subject for a watercolour.

This time I did use watercolour paper.  It was done in A3 which was nice because it gave me lots of room.  Despite that I made a rooky mistake and sketched my tree a little too high on the paper but didn’t realise until after I was already painting it so I had to live with it.  This is how it turned out:

lightningtree_fin_webI got the hang of the watercolours just a little bit more doing this but I can see that, if I choose to paint a lot more in this medium it’s going to take a LOT of work.  I enjoyed the way the paint only runs on the wet patches and not on the dry which was useful for controlling the movement of the water.  I also enjoyed the sharpness you can get painting fine tree branches and fine shadow lines. I find this kind of detail harder to achieve in acrylics.  The thing I found most difficult was that you can’t get out of trouble by over-painting.  With acrylics I tend to paint my way out of a mistake.  There’s not room for that in watercolour – it just compounds the error.  I’m not sure how I feel about water colours.  They are amazing but they are difficult too.

PS:  I may not post much for the next week as I’m not feeling very well.  Hopefully I’ll be back next week.   🙂

(All Images unless otherwise explicitly stated are © Jo Fox, 2015)

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