Birch Trees Demo

     Step 1:

Several tree shapes were protected with masking tape. Note: care was taken to make them all different thickness and to angle some while others stood straight; all of them went right off the top of the paper and stopped at a random horizontal line. A few much smaller trees were covered with masking fluid in the background. Again, everything was allowed to dry thoroughly. A wash of Cadmium Yellow Light and Ultramarine blue was mixed on the paper then, while it was still sopping wet,
torn pieces of waxed paper were gently set into the wet paint and left to create texture. Once the paper had mostly dried under the wax paper pieces, they were removed and the whole thing was allowed to dry thoroughly. Note, once again, a blow dryer was NOT used for the previous step.

     Step 2:

Being careful to leave some stretches of clean, white paper, washes of Ultramarine Blue with a little Alizarin Crimson added lightly here and there were used to depict the foreground. While the paint was still wet, the handle of the flat wash brush was dragged lightly into the paper to create twigs or sprigs of grass poking through the snow. Note: the shapes were longer in the foreground then shorter as they moved farther up the page.

     Step 3:

Turning the painting upside down, areas of wash made with Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson were puffed through a drinking straw to create random sprig forms down the page. Note: there needed to be a bubble of liquid paint to blow and short, sharp puffs of air. The masking tape was removed from the tree shapes and the masking fluid was removed from the smaller ones.

     Step 4:

Using Burnt Sienna + Ultramarine Blue, a thin bead of paint was run along the shaded side of each trunk and immediately allowed to spread by having a clean wash brush with a little water just barely grab the edge of the paint bead. This gave a 3D look to the tree trunk. Using a mixture of Phthalo Blue (green shade) + Alizarin Crimson, the little trees in the background were decorated with blobs of paint that were dragged with broken toothpicks to create the appearance of the bald trunk and fine limbs.

    Finished painting - final darks were direct painted to depict scars on the trunks ans thinner branches were painted in using a rigger brush.