Day 54: Silver Birch & Snow

Silver Birch (Watercolour)

Silver Birch (Watercolour)

I’ve had a really good run for ideas recently but today I hit inspiration high and dry. During the afternoon I went through all my saved pictures and later I took a camera on my dog walk but still came up blank. Finally, I was saved by the current edition of the SAA Paint magazine and their regular feature “Try Your Hand At….”.

I haven’t actually received the hard copy yet as I’m an overseas subscriber, but they have an online version too and this month Dermot Cavanagh demonstrates a winter scene with birch trees. It seemed like a good thing to try my hand at 🙂

This is the first one of these I’ve attempted, which is pretty poor considering I’ve been getting the magazine for at least two years and there have been so many that were inspiring.

It was started late in the day, which may account for me having slightly different colours to Dermot… I also got caught out by dinner being ready and messed up the instructions for the first wash – the trees in the background should have some trunks that were scraped out just as the wash was drying, but mine was too wet at first, then it was too dry! Luckily I think I got a way with it, almost. I did scuff the paper somewhat though, so I hope there’s nothing else to paint here. I also missed out the fence completely.

You can probably tell that the foreground tree trunks are masked out, so they will be white when the masking is removed, then there’s detail to paint on them and shading for the snow. If you check the demonstration here on pages 10 & 11 (I hope you don’t have to be a member, sorry if you do!) you’ll also realise that my background was far too wet and the last addition of green just mixed right in. I also discovered too late that if your masking joins up the washes won’t run down the page (der!), so there were areas where the branches overlapped that colour didn’t flow correctly… Nevertheless I think it’s quite attractive so far 🙂