A few years ago, a friend and I took a trip to Brazil. We started our vacation in Iguazu Falls, which proved to be the highlight of our trip. The falls straddle the Iguazu River which forms the border between Brazil and Argentina.
There is a National Park in each country from which you can view the 275 cataracts. Our hotel was in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil but we took the bus into Argentina so we could visit the falls on that side as well.
Near the Brazillian Falls is a Bird Park where you can get quite close to the birds in walk-through aviaries. I took lots of photos of birds but I also took some pictures of the vegetation. One of those pictures was of a Strangler Fig. It is the subject of one of my recent watercolour paintings.
After sketching the tree and the vines I used a masking fluid to cover the areas I wanted to stay white. I then built up the colour with several layers of washes.
The original tree is quite pale and anemic but I wanted to have fun with the colour so my tree is much more colourful. I did the vines towards the end just before I removed the masking fluid.