Day 18: A paint splatter tree
More in my watercolor studies.
I’ve been intrigued for some time by how people use splatter in their painting to add color and/or texture. While working on my bird watercolor from Day 17, I came across this little tutorial for finding patterns in “random” splatter.
I’m a huge sucker for Korean maple trees, so I created a palette of red, yellow, and green shades. Then I used a toothbrush to fling the bristles at various sections of the paper.
After I had laid down some color this way, I used a paper mask to focus the splatter for the actual tree. I layered green shades along the bottom of the mask, then yellow in the middle, and finally, red mostly on top, but also over the green and yellow. I figured this would emulate the way maple leaves that touch the sun show the reddest, and how the foliage underneath is the last to turn.
One thing I learned the “hard” way: If you don’t want the different colors to mix and muddy with each other, absolutely wait for each splatter layer to thoroughly dry before applying another color.
After I was satisfied with the splattering stage, I worked with some brown-grey hues to quickly draw in branches and the tree trunk around the existing dots of color. In a moment of self-amusement, I added in a little swing too.
This painting didn’t take long, and I certainly don’t think it’s one of my best works by any means. But I was pleased with my first attempt at this technique, which is why I was so pissed when I realized I’d painted everything on the wrong side of the watercolor paper.
So much practice, still such a n00b.