Painting “en plein air”

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.

watercolor tree

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