|Copyright 2020 Robert Mesrop|
Today, I spent several hours in a Zoom watercolor workshop that has kept me busy each Monday morning since the end of August. It's been a great discipline, and there have been interesting challenges posed by our workshop instructor, Robert Mesrop. Our final session for this term was devoted to tree branches, something I have struggled with forever. Robert provided a photo of a large, and very gnarly, Weeping Beech tree in Yarmouthport MA. (right) The focus of this exercise was partly on conveying depth through foreshortening -- no easy task. Since the reference photo targets the branches and not the background, for me the challenge extended to how I could suggest the background yet not allow it to "take over" the painting.
I began by sketching a light outline of the main shapes of the branches. Mixing a thin wash of gray using Ultramarine Blue and Sepia, I tinted sections of the background, first dampening the area and then dropping color into each section created by the intersecting branches, one at a time. I avoided making the wash too smooth by using the side of my #6 round brush, which helped ensure variation in tone. My paper is #140 Fabriano Artistico rough, making it easier to achieve a dappled, instead of a flat, background.
I thought I was finished, so I signed the sketch and took a few photos with my phone.
But I realized that some darker tones would enhance a few areas and make the depth more clear to the viewer. Finally, I was satisfied with the finished product. This session was a nice conclusion to my extended period of Zoom watercolor workshops with Robert Mesrop, and I look forward to continue to stretch my learning curve in 2021.
|"Winter Branches" |
transparent watercolor 7.5" x 5.5" unframed