So, pretty much the best way to improve your ability to paint or draw is to draw from life. To work on my skills with color and light, I went to the park near my house a while ago and painted this tree. It’s roughly 9″ x 7″, done in water color on 150lb watercolor paper. I took all my supplies to the park, picked a tree that I thought looked cool, and sat down in the grass to work. I only did about 45 minutes of work at a time because the evening light changes quickly. It took me about five sessions, so a little under four hours total (including the initial sketch, which took up most of the first session).
I’m pretty happy with the results, although I think the tree to the left came out better than the foreground tree. I got lots of compliments from people in the park, including a visit from two curious little girls who were almost too shy to talk to me. They were adorable.