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Old 03-03-2009, 07:27 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

For the background, I used only two colors, Deep Green Permanent and Payne’s Gray, loosely blended. Warning: do not over-blend.



This mixture was applied very wet and liberally with a 1” utility brush haphazardly making sure there is a nice mix of lights and darks in the nonsensical pattern.



While the paint is still very wet, I used a paper towel wrapped around my index finger to wipe out the two groups of trees. I also dabbed out a bit of the color on the bottom where the light would be hitting the strongest.



I let the painting dry for about an hour.

Continued in next post...........
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:34 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Once the painting was good and dry, I chose Deep Green Permanent and Cadmium Yellow Medium for the next phase.



Choosing the worst looking, most worn out brush I had, I loosely mixed together the green and yellow.



This mixture was used to create the lighter and highlighted areas in the foliage behind the trees. To do this, I employed several techniques including rolling and dabbing. I kept a paper towel handy for those places where I may have applied too much paint and simple wiped it off or dabbed it while it was still wet. By the way, no worries if you get some on the trees so just have fun with this!



I then let the painting dry again (1/2 to 1 hour).

Continued in the next post......
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:45 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Very interesting and looking good - I'm watching avidly.

Marion

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Old 03-03-2009, 07:49 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Once the painting was dry, it was time to move right on to the trees. For these, I chose the following four colors: Mars Black, Payne’s Gray, Neutral Gray and Titanium White.



Using a #6 synthetic round brush, I mixed together a little water and Neutral Gray. I lightly painted the tree trunks, painting in vertical strokes from the bottom up. Painting from the bottom up helps to taper the trunks toward the top. If you find this awkward, you may turn the painting upside down for this step.



When the painting was nearly but not totally dry, I switched to a small flat brush and a fresh mixture of paint using the Mars Black and Titanium White.



Using the white and black alternatively and with varying color strengths, I applied the paint to the trees with small horizontal strokes. Note that much more white was used for the front group of trees and a less brighter mix of the black and white for the far group. Please also note that while creating the tree bark, I did not re-wet my brush with water. Dipping back and forth between the colors without rinsing or wiping the brush helps to create the variation in color and builds texture. It also keeps the edges from becoming too harsh.



Still working wet, but not sloppy wet, and using the same black and white combo, I used a mid-tone (medium-dark gray) to shadow the right sides of both groups of trees using broken vertical strokes. And then, using white mixed with a touch of black (light gray) and painted a choppy vertical strip down each trunk on their left sides – the side of the trees facing the direction of light.



For this next step, I smoothed some of the edges of the trunks and then used straight black and straight white and define a few areas of strongest darks or lights.



Continued in next post.................
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:54 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Morning Everyone. Elizabeth I really love your birch trees! Okay heading for the paints! Very interesting approach.

Elaine
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:57 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Using a #2 round and watering down a bit of grayed white (light gray), I used this thin mix to create some branches and trees in the background and then let the painting dry. The thin trees and branches will dry rather quickly - probably no longer than 10 minutes.



Once the painting was dry again, I used a thin mixture of grays (dark gray) to paint shadows and texture on the background trees and branches.



Here is a close-up of the shadowed/textured background trees.



After letting the painting dry, and pondering it as a whole, I spent a bit of time making adjustments to the main trees, adding lights and darks where I felt they were needed, and making sure the trunks read “round.” (Achieved by darkening one side of the tree, and/or lightening the other.)



Continued in next post..........
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:03 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Next, I went back to my original palette colors, Payne’s Gray and Deep Green Permanent and mixed the two together to a fairly thin consistency. My objective is to darken a few areas behind the trees to further give the painting depth. This would be considered a "wash" or "glaze" as the intention is not to paint, but to tone these areas.





The photo below is the result, though in real life it was not quite this dark.



(sorry for the bad photo everyone)
The painting was quite wet after adding the dark mixture to the background. I laid it flat and let it dry completely before proceeding. The drying time was an hour or two.

Continued in the next post..........
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:11 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Fast forward a couple of hours, now that the painting is good and dry again, the next step is to add back in targeted areas where the light is hitting in the background and fore. For this, I used Titanium White, Deep Green Permanent and Cad Yellow Med.



Using my #2 round, I applied the paint using varying combinations, hues and strengths of the three colors, paying close attention to where the light was the strongest and the weakest.



And then finally, here is the finished painting, dry and signed.



I hope you enjoyed this demo and was able to pick up some helpful information. Basically, I kept my palette limited but feel free to make this your own by mixing up different greens and other colors in the bark. I am looking forward to seeing your versions of these birches or others if you choose a different reference.

I will post the demo on oak bark later today or tomorrow depending on the activity level from this one!

Have fun with this everyone!!!!

Elizabeth
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:13 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Morning Marion! Morning Elaine! Glad to have you join me for the birch lesson!!!!

Elizabeth
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:39 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

First two steps..think my trees too thick or my fingers but letting it dry.
Have to run an errand then will be back. Hope I'm at least close.





Elaine
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:23 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Oh why am I always late for class?!? I slept in and I had to have coffee and take care of the kitties and then read through this whole thread so I didn't miss anything. Now I am off to find tree refs (hope it's not too late for this beginner step). Be back shortly! Wait for me! (haha I got in trouble for asking others to wait for me in grade primary. Didn't work then either.)

Hi Elizabeth! SO nice to see you back again
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:44 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

You're off to a great start Elaine! No worries about the size of the tree trunks; nature makes all sizes! Nice patterns in your background too; your foliage is going to be lovely! It will be fun to see the different takes on that part especially!

Hi Jesslyn! Nice to see you again too! I've missed you all so much.
Haha, your mornings sound like mine and in that order too...coffee first, then kitty petting/feeding, then the day can begin!!!

Your timing is actually just fine as we just began painting today. The previous pages include references and observations which you can take a look at as time permits. No pressure, lol!

See you again soon, and I'm SO happy to have you aboard!

Elizabeth
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:41 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Very interesting. I'm more of a back to front, finish as I go painter, but I see we use similar colours.
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:48 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Well, I had a lot of trees-in-the-background pics but surprisingly few of trees alone. I did have a few bark pics, as I am fascinated by the patterns in it. So here are my contributions.







Sorry so many... feel free to use any of these.
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:26 AM
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Re: MTM Classroom - Trees & Foliage

Hi Michelle! Hummmm....I think the steps in this could be arranged so that the entire background is done first. At least we're on the same page with the colors! I usually work back to front as well but for some reason, this is the way this one went. It would be interesting to see this painted totally back to front if you decide to give it a go!

Wow Jess! Great photos! Thank you so much! I'm loving the close-ups of the bark especially but that landscape with the tree lonely trees is lovely too! It would make an awesome painting! The one with the bridge is also wonderful; so gentle and atmospheric.

Do you happen to know or remember what kind of barks you photoed? Great detail in these!

Elizabeth
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