Painting Trees On A Gouache Painting Of A Curlew – This is part 2 of a continuing series documenting the development of my gouache painting of a Far Eastern Curlew bird and a landscape in Siberia. The trees on the mountains in the background were not painted properly in the first post.
Correcting The Trees on the Mountain
In this post I’ll document the improvement and explain how I do things. The trees originally did not look right. The trees which were spruce trees, were sparse and just did not look correct. To make the correction, I first painted over the old trees by mixing a blue color that matches the background. Next I begin drawing the outline of each individual tree. On the left is a detailed close up and on the right are the beginning of the new trees with the entire painting as a whole. I want to make sure that the my new technique is working so I finish the lower left portion of the mountain to make sure that I am satisfied before wasting time doing the whole mountain just to realize that it still doesn’t look right. Once I am satisfied, I proceed to apply the same technique that was done in the lower left hand corner of the mountain to the entire mountain.
Using Glass Palettes to Mix Paint on
Because I like to draw with a brush (similar to pen & ink), I mix my gouache paint with a lot of water. To save money and time, I use a piece of glass for my palette with a sheet of white paper underneath. I like mixing my paint on glass because glass is hard and smooth which is the type of surface you need if you are going to mix your colors with a lot of water. Also, glass will never wear out. I have several sheets of glass with a different set of colors on each one. Pictured left is my mountain colors palette.
New Colors, New Trees
On this particular sheet of glass I have my mountain background blue color, my spruce tree outline and shape color and my spruce tree highlight green. Using a liner brush, I apply the highlight green color to the outline of each tree on the mountain. Compared to the first post, the trees on this mountain are a big improvement. It was worth the time and effort to mix more paint to paint over everything and do all over again.
Protecting the Finished Gouache Surface with Paper
You’ll notice in the photos that show my brush technique, there is always a piece of paper underneath my hand. That is to prevent the oils that are present in skin from coming in contact with the painting. The final thumbnail on the right shows the finished spruce trees on the mountain. In the next post, we’ll work on the grass in the meadow.