In the current issue of Watercolor Artist, June Rollins writes about painting with a triad of pigments¹, limiting the paints used to a red, a yellow, and a blue. This helps create unity and harmony in the work while reducing the confusion and frustration of having too many choices. She gives a sample project of painting a tree on dry paper by splattering the paint and then lightly spraying it with water to create mixtures of the paint on the paper. After the “leaves” are dry, the three pigments are mixed together to form a dark hue, from which the trunk and branches are painted, weaving the branches behind some leaf bunches and through the holes.
I like the way the extra splatters look like leaves blowing in the wind.
The grouping of the splatters defines the growth of the branches, which helps these to look like different species of trees.
As I was mentally congratulating myself on each tree looking better than the one before, my husband walked into my studio, looked at the trees, and said that he thought the first one was the best. He liked the definition of the large clump of yellow leaves.
Which tree do you like best?
¹Rollins, June. “Tried-and-True Primary Triads.” Watercolor Artist December (2012): 59-65.