In my last post I mentioned that, if I’m stuck for inspiration, there are two subjects that I can always rely on – mooring posts and trees.
In that post I showed, well some posts! So, here are some trees that I’ve done recently.
Using a photograph as the initial reference, I lightly sketched the basic shape of the tree trunks onto a piece of 300lb Arches rough paper about ten inches square. This just makes sure that I get the trees in the right place on the paper for the best composition. I don’t make any attempt to draw in branches or detail at this stage, that happens when I get going with the ink. Using a number 4 round sable hair brush I draw directly onto the paper with Indian ink from a bottle. By dragging the loaded brush across the paper it’s possible to get some nice effects of texture, while the number 4 is fine enough to ink in the branches and a few twigs. I take care not to put in too many!
When the ink is dry, I paint the colours on using normal watercolour paint. The ink is water resistant so that it does not dissolve when painted over. Effectively there are only two complimentary colours used, blue and orange. The blues are Prussian Blue and Manganese Blue Hue, while the orange is mixed from Burnt Sienna and Lemon Yellow.
Try using this technique yourself, it makes a very striking image.