Lately, we’ve been awakened to an annoying buzzing sound. The leaf blowers out here in California are annoying enough (haven’t they heard of rakes?), but this was even worse. I got up to look and there was a guy on top of a palm tree, calmly cutting log after log, moving down as he shortened the trunk. This happened every single day. The tally is three palm trees, another (formerly) bushy tree that they just emacerated, a persimmon tree and a fig tree, the latter two of which used to have branches that leaned nicely in our yard, yielding persimmons and figs within our grasp.
I used to love to draw the branch tangles in all seasons (i.e., Last Leaf); they hid fruit in the spring and summer and vibrant leaves, especially in the autumn.
Today’s watercolor experiment:
It was wonderfully dark today. We are getting some needed rain, but I was most excited by the dramatic sky. I had been meaning to document the now-stubby trees next door, but it was the sky that got me outdoors.
I have been developing technique through my warmup exercises lately (see Lessons 1-10.5). I didn’t use many in today’s composition, but I was much more aware of my brushstrokes and design by my attention to the basics.
I used latex resist (also called drawing gum), to preserve the white parts of the branches when I painted the dark background behind them. My 1 1/2″ bristle brush came in handy to draw in the fences. I used a smaller round brush to fill the places between the branches that did not receive the Payne’s gray pigment of the sky.
Here is the reference photograph for this watercolor sketch: