May’s Painting Project: The Instructions

Gorse adds a splash of colour before the greens return to the Skye landscape and continues flowering for weeks. Walking along a familiar path recently (more photos) I suddenly noticed this tree and the strip of stone wall, with the yellows across the hillside behind. There was something about the light at that moment that made my fingers itch to paint it, and so it’s the challenge for May.

Painting Project Gorse and Tree
Painting Project Gorse and Tree

For me the interesting things to explore are:
1. All those warm and cool greens: blue-greens of the grass and yellow-greens of the moss. An excuse to pull out all your blues and yellows to spend time colour mixing, and to also explore adding yellow and blue to tube greens.

2. The deep darks in the shadows: how dark can you make it with still having a suggestion of what’s going on. What colours to use, with perylene black feeling like an obvious choice as it makes also interesting greens when mixed with yellow. Alternatively, how colourful can you make this “dark”, or how purple (taking inspiration from the Impressionists).

3. How far across will the tree extend, which will partly be determined by shape of the composition, whether it’s square, portrait or landscape.

4. Compositional choices of things to leave out. The telephone pole seems a definite to me, but what about the fence behind it?

Medium, size and format are up to you. Have fun! I look forward to seeing what this inspires.

My first attempt I did using acrylic ink, one yellow and Payne’s grey only, with the aim of having a light touch, using lots of negative space. Working flat so the ink wouldn’t run.

Only when I stood up again did I notice I’d made the tree too upright and the bundle of small trunks into one solid one even though I had the reference right in front of me!

I’ll be posting my thumbnails for this project and the notes I made on my potential to Patreon for project subscribers, along with a video of when I added the ink tree to a background done in acrylics, my third attempt at this. Become a subscriber here…

These are not thumbnails…

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