Tree study exercise

I’m obsessed with the idea of painting trees, and luckily there was an exercise specifically for that in Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice by Mitchell Albala. The exercise in the book is a monochromatic value study, but I developed mine into a color version.

Daily Art 08-25-2018 tree study exercise with final opaque layer
My tree study is a combination of a monochrome underpainting, glazing, and textural opaque acrylic paints.

I did this study on some linen blend fabric which I’d coated with three layers of isolation coat (a mix of soft gel gloss and water). It has a fairly textured surface, but with the isolation coat I was able to wipe out the light areas and halftones after sketching in the large shapes.

I considered leaving it like this because I liked it so much. But I’ve really wanted to do some more glazing and opaque painting after completing the acrylic landscapes class project.

Daily Art 08-23-2018 tree study exercise with raw umber acrylic paint
Initial monochromatic value study of a tree in raw umber acrylic paint
Daily Art 08-24-2018 tree study exercise with glaze layer
I added a glaze of burnt umber and yellow ochre with glazing liquid and water to the light areas. I also added a cooler shadow color with ultramarine blue and burnt umber, but those areas were already too dark for it to show up.
Daily Art 08-25-2018 tree study exercise with initial opaque layer
After the glazing, I added some opaque greens and shadow colors.
Daily Art 08-25-2018 tree study exercise with final opaque layer
Final version

This was a fun little exercise to do and I liked getting some practice painting sky holes and negative painting the sky in around the tree. I definitely need to do some focused practice on color mixing and choosing colors for a painting. After next week’s final exercise on values, I plan on moving on to color.

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