This crab apple tree is located between 2 large pine trees in my front yard in Ottawa. This year it was visited by a Pileated Woodpecker who worked on a couple of the branches. One of the branches came down in the last wind storm. Every year I expect it to die but it’s still surviving. I have painted it in bloom and in the fall and decided this time to concentrate on the bark.
I was raking leaves that didn’t get cleaned up last fall and noticed that the rhubarb was up.
I took a break to take a photo of the rhubarb which I used the next day to do a quick watercolour sketch.
I did a wet in wet under painting and then played with what was there to make it look like flowers. I don’t know of any flowers that look like the blue ones I painted. They may only exist in my imagination.
Spring has finally arrived. There are buds on the trees and the grass is green. The change in the weather inspired me to paint the following watercolours.
I decided to play with paint and chose for the first painting a limited palette of turquoise, yellow, and green.
After the first layer dried I painted in the grasses and added some purple for contrast.
For the second painting I used more colours.
I wasn’t very imaginative with what I added after the first layer dried. Maybe it isn’t finished yet.
Anyway, I did have fun and that’s the main thing.
Sometimes one scene can provide inspiration for multiple paintings.
Sometimes it takes multiple tries until what you have on paper feels right.
These 4 watercolours are from the same photograph that was taken in the Languedoc region of France several years ago.
I like something about each one but I think I’ll have to do it again because none are quite “there ” yet.
With this photograph it will take multiple attempts to get it the way I want. However, I can now see at least two different directions I could go in and so maybe it will turn out that the photograph will be the inspiration of multiple paintings.
This watercolour was done from a photograph taken several years ago on a trip to Costa Rica. I’ve had the photograph in my file to paint for quite a while but couldn’t figure out exactly how to do it. That was when I was copying the photographs more or less exactly. Now that I’m taking a looser more interpretive approach I found it a little easier.
I started this watercolour with a wet in wet under painting having no idea where I was going to go with it. I then searched through my photographs looking for some ideas that would fit. I chose a photo taken from the window of my motel room on the way back from my trip to Nova Scotia. It was October and the colours of the trees were brilliant.
I had taken the picture when I arrived. The next day was dark and I encountered heavy rain from Montmagny (east of Quebec City) through to Montreal. Until then I had only encountered one rain shower which occurred on the second day of my trip so I was very lucky.
I’ve been trying to not copy everything I see especially when I work from photographs. In this painting I started with a loose wet in wet wash then added the details. It has the same “feel” as the photograph and what I remember of the scene but it’s definitely not a copy.
Some of the trees have lost most of their leaves but the poplars still have some green leaves among the yellow. I chose to do a sketch of some birches beside my driveway. They have lost virtually all their leaves. I used coloured pencils for the birch tree trunks and watercolours for the rest . The yellow and green on the right side are from the poplars that are outside the picture.