Newly emerged leaves in spring have a bright, cheerful yellowness to them that seems to celebrate the beginning of a new growing season. I was sitting in a friend’s garden in the Scottish Borders looking at the red and yellow tulips thinking they lent themselves to a painting, but kept being pulled back to a couple of trees where the leaves were catching the sun whilst casting shadow on the stems.
I started with coloured pencil, trying to get the sense of the layers of leaves and small branches, sunny and shade sides.
I added watercolour and acrylic ink in various colours, including an iridescent green.
To stop myself fiddling with this painting while I was waiting for it to dry, I started another which I did wet-into-wet (and forgot to take progress photos).
I put the iridescent ink as a lower layer in the second painting, rather than top layer as in the first painting, so it shimmers through the other layers. The final layer was a deliberately opaque choice of cadmium yellow mixed with titanium white, so it would obscure what was beneath it.