Branching Out – Oak Tree watercolour painting
Branching Out – My Beautiful Oak Tree watercolour has been in the pipeline for quite a while. This beautiful oak tree comes to life at the start of the new year and through spring, just before the leaves disguise its raw beauty. I’ve taken quite a few sketches of this oak tree and a few watercolour washes too, trying to discover the best angle. With my watercolour painting I wanted to display how the branches twist and spread out along the skyline.
I debated showing the above sketch, because it is just a light watercolour wash I made outdoors. I did a few washes from different viewpoints. With this watercolour wash I liked the way the clouds were moving across the oak tree.
Detailed sketch of every branch
It took quite some time to sketch the tree for the final Branching Out painting.
Though I had sketched most of the branches, it’s only as I start painting that I decide which branches will sit in front, behind or where they will twist. As you paint you get a feel for your subject. I have known this oak tree for a long time, so I have been observing and thinking how I’d paint it for sometime.
Oak Tree painting process
I started painting the background first. With watercolour you have to consider how the paint layers can bleed into each other. So when painting the sky I have to leave areas around the oak tree branches, because I don’t want any blue on the oak tree. I don’t use any masking fluid or white paint, so I have to layer paint gently around the white areas. Then I had to carefully paint the background silver birch trees, so the white of the paper could highlight their white trunks. It would have been easier to use masking fluid and paint broader strokes of washes, but I like learning how to control watercolour paint.
All the progression photos of my watercolours are done using my mobile phone camera, so they aren’t always taken in great light or focus (too busy painting). The photos on my portfolio and shop are professionally photographed. Just thought I’d say.
All the main branches of the tree have their first light layers of paint. Yes I have to keep painting layers on the branches again and again and…. I’ve stopped counting….
A close up of the tree so far. You can follow every single branch.
I am painting the wispy branches.
This watercolour painting is nearing completion.
A close up of the branches again. All the white areas are the paper and not white paint.
I used three primary colours (yellow, blue and red) to create my colours. I also used another blue for the sky.
At last Oak Tree – branching out watercolour painting is complete.