Friday, October 15, 2021

paint party Friday ... trees of gold

 Welcome to paint party Friday where we celebrate all things painterly!

this week, I set myself a challenge to paint a portrait of the same tree in my yard, three days running and see how different they came out. Above was the first painting, done outside while looking at the actual tree

I wanted to learn how to create depth, and show leaves in front of the trunk, and this pic doesn't do it justice as it looked gilded with yellow on all leaf tips! This is how all three started... rough sketch with pitt black fine point pen on a torn mixed media paper

sketch, then dabs of colors...
the final picture

and then how do pens add shadows? how do dots of color affect it? I actually might like this one best in person, but then I've always been better at painting a real object. As you might tell from the photo, I took artistic license to remove the trees behind this one and other distracting items. 

On the back of paintings I put my little symbol in a sort of cartouche of paint used

the following day I painted at my inside spot, while looking at the painting instead of the tree

this is the finished painting... different from day one but in series. I like the addition of leaves on the ground, the dark pen and white gel pen on the tree and the weeds. It's small and only we know there is a trunk in there in real life because we had to severely cut it back when it looked dying. 

on the third day I had two paintings to go by, and wanted to change it a bit while keeping the gist

by this day the real tree had become more orange than yellow, but I got the paint mix a bit wrong. I made the best of it, trying to amend it as one does, with more paint and more ink! I liked the general painting, especially the fence shadows. 

what did I learn? 

>I like painting outside looking at the true object and light, really observing it
>each painting was good on it's own, without comparing it to the others
> each one was unique, allowing me to try different techniques while keeping others
> I need to stop saying my work looks like a 5 year old did it. Even if it does, it's apparently my style
> paintings have an element of magic to them, they show up
> I will overwork something if I'm not careful and aware... walk by and add more ink... 

The other color work, besides sewing which will be covered in tomorrow's post, was coloring in my calendar
Joanna Basford weekly calendar has given me a wonderful reason to play with how colors blend, look together, how water affects them, what I like... etc. I keep it by the computer and add color as the days go by
the start to coloring

I enjoy using watercolors and brush, tombow markers, prismacolor watercolor pencils, staedtler fineliners, and all are water soluble. 

sometimes I enjoy doing backgrounds by putting a wet brush on the edge of a painted thing, and pulling the color into the background. This means the background may end up different colors. 



Now for fun...

Look what I found... a show with artist portrait challenges! Here's the finale...

linking to


  1. your tree is great... it has a little from house on the prairie... that was my first thought...

  2. I am liking your trees! I don't have the courage to strike out on my own yet and am still using videos. I gave you a shout out on my blog today.
    I love that portrait competition, like Project Runway with paint. Was the whole series on T,V or just Youtube?

  3. I see you have taken to plein air style painting. Love how you changed the tree over time.

  4. Good job on the tree, lovely art this week!

  5. Wonderful art, love the trees. Happy PPF, Valerie

  6. Beautiful leafy golds, and I really like the mixture of colors you're using on your calendar picture!

  7. fun paint play, and nice looking trees. Pretty coloring on the calendar page! Happy PPF!

  8. Well that tree is wonderful. Your watercolor skills are pretty spectacular. Have a great day.

  9. There's nothing like true light to see the better picture but all three are marvellous each with their own character. Fabulous work.
    Happy PPF Tracey.

  10. All three paintings are so pretty! Love the idea of comparing the different perspectives to learn. Your calendar page is very nice, too. Wonderful colors. Wouldn't it be great to be portrait artist of the year?! Hope your weekend is fun. x K

  11. I like your paintings; I think you are very skilled. Enjoyed your Thursday post as well. So many great things, perhaps my favourite, the video of Milo and hubby. Looking quite green there still. We’ve actually been having humidity which is strange for here in October.

  12. A lovely set of tree trios. One of the best parts to painting with watercolor is realizing it's all about the 'idea' rather than making the subject a perfect recreation and you've conveyed that notion well. Love your cartouche!