This is a breakdown of my process around painting the Qualicum Arbutus. This tree was one that I came across on a visit to Qualicum Beach prior to moving here and I knew I had to paint it. It is sad that it has since been cut down, it was very close to a roadway, but I am grateful that I had the opportunity to photograph it and show it’s beauty to the world.
I start off with some quick thumbnail sketches just to get an idea of how I want to approach the composition and to get a feel for the tonal values and perspective.
#2 Studies in Watercolor (or medium being used)
This is where I will do some smaller studies of various parts of a painiting or drawing that I might feel need a bit more attention.
I also lay out my color palette this way by making color swatches to go by during my painting stage. This helps give me the ability to replicate the colors exactly when I return.
I make sure to use the same paper I will be using for the actual artwork to perform these studies. With watercolor I have found that paper can react differently for many reasons (it is just the way paper is made and it’s not that it is a bad thing just a characteristic of each brand or type) so it is better to prepare myself from the start by using the same surface I intend to paint on for these preliminary studies.
#5 Working Up The Painting Glazing Upper Leaves and Painting The Sky
Working my way up the painting to the upper leaves. I added detail in some of the larger leaves closer to the viewers eye when looking up the trunk of the tree, but then leaves further away at the top of the tree are looser and more transparent to give a sense of depth and an almost stained glass appearance in places.
#10 Final Image
This is the final image, which you can also view in my portfolio under Watercolor Landscapes. Thank you for following along.
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Size of the painting: 14 3/4″ X 28 3/4″
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Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Canada V9K 1S8
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