Wanderlust: white tree

Series: Wanderlust 2021 #16

Trees! A subject that I am a lot more comfortable with than faces — it’s nice not to have to change the focus of the lesson — though I do have to work from a source photo to get something that looks natural. And props to Nicole for talking about what a silhouette is and acknowledging that these trees, with the detail left on the trunk, aren’t true silhouettes (yes, I am still annoyed by some of the interpretations of the serendipity theme).

This project uses watercolours for a change, which gave me the opportunity to try out my Golden Absorbent Ground. My art journal (Stillman & Birn Zeta 7″x10″) contains mixed media paper so I could have used watercolour direct on it but, given that it curls a bit even with acrylic paints, I was happier priming it first. And the absorbent ground definitely did a good job in that respect.

The background is made up of a base layer of purple watercolour covered with several layers of black watercolour, leaving the purple poking through in places. I had to switch to my Gansai Tambi paints for the black, the other just wasn’t covering well enough.

I ended up using a Posca pen to draw the tree. I used to get on really well with the Uni-Ball Signo UM-153 white pens but recently they just seem to stop writing smoothly and I can’t revive them. None of the other white pens I’ve ever tried have been opaque enough for me — apart from the water-based extra-fine point Sharpie that they stopped making…

As usual, finding words to add to the page took the longest time. I grabbed a few pages from the books in my stash and cut out some phrases that caught my eye. Then I just sat down and shuffled them around until I came up with a haiku that seemed to fit. The last touch was to add the word “peace” to the ground line.


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