November Birches

Like many artists, I want my paintings to turn out well. But that typically means that I sacrifice experimentation for tried and true techniques. Risk vs. Return. At some point, though, I start to feel stale and uninspired, and then I know that it’s time to change the line up and go for risk. Such was the case with painting these birches.Birches_November

Here, I cast off my usual careful drawing and painting style and tested a variety of watercolor techniques. To achieve background depth, I built up layers of color behind the birches and used plastic wrap and masking fluid to add texture and variety. Here’s what I learned:

  • It’s time to buy new masking fluid when there’s a glob of congealed goop in the bottle.
  • Good paper makes a big difference! This is Fabriano soft press 140lb watercolor paper. The layers of paint went on beautifully.
  • I like precise drawing – and it would have made for better results here. But a less careful drawing freed me to experiment more with painting techniques.
  • Once is not enough…but it’s a start.