Tuesday, December 27, 2011

O Christmas tree!

O beautiful Christmas tree! I've always adored Christmas trees for drawing and painting purposes. This is a black artificial tree that we brought over from England with us. Although it is described as black, I didn't use any black watercolour in the painting of it, but mixes of indigo blue, crimson and viridian. I did use lots of masking fluid! This painting took a long time as I built it up in lots of layers. My first step was to apply masking fluid 'spots' to represent the little lightbulbs, and then to apply a pale blue wash over the entire piece of paper so that the only truly white bits would be the lights. When that was dry I applied masking fluid in a ring around the lightbulbs. After putting colours down for the various baubles I masked them all out. I also painted the violet shadows cast by the tree onto the wall. I built up the dark colour of the tree in several stages, taking my brush in the direction of the tree branches, and not having to worry about saving the decorations or lights as they were all masked. It was really important for me to mix a deep intense colour, as the watercolours always dry lighter and I was after a strong contrast between the dark of the 'black' tree and the lights and ornaments.
It always makes me sad to take the decorations down in January. I miss the extra lights, but continue to light candles every evening ;)


  1. Thanks for sharing your process, it makes me want to get my watercolours out!
    Jess x

  2. Dear, dear Haidee-Jo,

    I sent an email but not sure if it went through. The gift arrived today and I love, love, love your amazing painting. The colors are even more beautiful than the computer screen showed. Thank you for being so generous for my birthday. Now when is yours...?

    Wishing you a marvelous 2012.


Thank you for your words!

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