Arbutus Over Water
The rich red browns of arbutus on the Gorge Inlet are a favorite subject to paint. I paddled my kayak right up under these trees, to see as much detail as I could. In the embankment, tunnels used by otters can be seen at low tide.
These paintings are acrylic on watercolour paper, with many transparent layers to build rich color. Later they are mounted on wood cradled panel and varnished twice.
A special challenge is to paint waves, or still water with reflections
Here is how I paint: pebbles with white veins
I use a reference picture, crop it to suit my paper or canvas, then draw it out.
I apply frisket to the white veins in the rocks. When dry and removed, this leaves stark white areas, which must be toned and adjusted until the veins appear to be part of the rock, instead of sitting on top. The veins themselves will have shadows where they go under the rock.
I am lucky to live by the water, surrounded by conifers. These leaning trees host herons and other wildlife all year long. I began a painting of this scene, somewhat abstracted. I used a red iron oxide underpainting that I covered when I changed my color scheme to blues.
New Painting January 24, 2021
Status: in progress
Excited to use my last 12 x 36″ canvas, which lends itself to painting trees.
I toned the canvas with a teal blue mix, (thalo blue, red iron oxide, white, yellow ochre, quinacridone gold) and then added clouds in the top third of the canvas, to suggest a landscape, and to create perspective and depth.
The underpainting had an area of golden paint that suggested a horizontal furled leaf. Although this leaf would be the wrong scale in a realistic painting of trees, I decided to paint in the leaf details, and develop volume and solidity.
I worked on the horizontal bands of colour on the trees, using a palette knife to apply white highlights. I wanted the illusion of the trees receding as though looking up the trunks from below.