15 Day Challenge – Trees, Day 9

Here is what I call an experiment that went bad, with no return . . .

I’ve never painted a Weeping Willow tree before and decided to include one in the 15-Day challenge.  I didn’t realize that it would be a “real” challenge, it certainly was that and more.

First, I used the wrong paper (8×10) archival Scrapbook paper that has a lot of texture, I figure that would be interesting for the tree, nope I fought with it every step of the way.  In addition, the paper was tinted olive-green, which influenced every aspect of the painting (what was I thinking) – a complimentary color or cream would have been better choices giving a much-needed break from the saturation of green.  What I didn’t count on, was how difficult it was to cover up the green and that of course used up most of the texture needed for painting with OPs.

The reference tree shape was odd-shaped and not having any prior experience painting a Weeping Willow, it was difficult to say the least.  I figured since the paper color was a middle value range I’d be able to count on the lower and higher value ranges to make the leaves pronounced – did not work.  Then I tried scraping the leaves with a razor blade for additional definition of branch and leave, sometimes this works in this case – not at all.

In the end I stopped painting, no sense in wasting premium oil pastels.  My challenge for Day 9 was to try to paint a convincing Weeping Willow, the results are not too good.  I tried and I’m happy to be moving onto my next tree challenge.

Weeping Willow, Day 9

Weeping Willow, Day 9

About Mary

Oil Pastelist
This entry was posted in Challenges: Subject Matter Studies, Trees. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to 15 Day Challenge – Trees, Day 9

  1. Painting for Joy says:

    Some days it’s just hard to get things the way we like and that’s why I love art…it’s a challenge that makes you wonder each time you create, what will the outcome be? I got that it’s a weeping willow though. 🙂

  2. dorannrule says:

    I think it is an “impressionistic” view of the weeping willow. I also imagine that it would be extremely difficult to paint since in life it so resembles a waterfall.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Dorann, thanks so much – I really appreciate how you viewed the piece. I never thought about how the flow of the branch systems resembles a waterfall what a great reference symbol and that will be a vision for me the next time I paint a Weeping Willow.

  3. ladyfi says:

    Wow- a fabulous painting.

  4. ĽAdelaide says:

    I was just gonna look at the reader, no comments cause of this iPad I CANNOT type a word on … I saw this and had to say, while the weeping willow is pretty, you’re right that it doesn’t look like weepers I’ve seen exactly. But it does look enough like them I would have guessed if you’d asked! I think I see in this little image the fight with the paper but still, I love seeing the beauties you paint! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Linda – you are so right. I do appreciate your feedback, yes I did fight with the paper and the Weeper form was totally off and I know why. So next time, I do need to paint a weeping willow again, I’ll keep the lessons learned from this experience in mind. Have a wonderful day!

  5. I must say the Weeping experience does have some nice results do! The water reflection is amazing, really very lovely how you managed to use your brush to make it looking really real! So for today I say it was not quite a disaster, at least for me this study shows some other skills which are showcased on this canvass. Have a great evening Mary!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Eva for your supportive and encouraging comments – appreciate your feedback especially with the water. Having slept on this experience I will probably paint another Weeping Willow, but the next time choose one that has a more normal form and not slant the branch limbs. It was a good experience and I’ll be sure to remember what is it they say, “paint what you see, not what you think is there” which is what I think tripped me up on this painting.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Cynthia – I’m already considering my next tree. Only I can deal with a disaster, just move forward! Have a great evening.

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