Art · My Creations · Sketches · Watercolors

Day 18: A paint splatter tree

Watercolor Paint Splatter Tree An Opus Per Diem
Watercolor Paint Splatter Tree, by An Opus Per Diem
Watercolor Paint Splatter Tree Irene Park An Opus Per Diem
Watercolor Paint Splatter Tree, by Irene Park/An Opus Per Diem

More in my watercolor studies.

I’ve been intrigued for some time by how people use splatter in their painting to add color and/or texture. While working on my bird watercolor from Day 17, I came across this little tutorial for finding patterns in “random” splatter.

I’m a huge sucker for Korean maple trees, so I created a palette of red, yellow, and green shades. Then I used a toothbrush to fling the bristles at various sections of the paper.

After I had laid down some color this way, I used a paper mask to focus the splatter for the actual tree. I layered green shades along the bottom of the mask, then yellow in the middle, and finally, red mostly on top, but also over the green and yellow. I figured this would emulate the way maple leaves that touch the sun show the reddest, and how the foliage underneath is the last to turn.

One thing I learned the “hard” way: If you don’t want the different colors to mix and muddy with each other, absolutely wait for each splatter layer to thoroughly dry before applying another color.

After I was satisfied with the splattering stage, I worked with some brown-grey hues to quickly draw in branches and the tree trunk around the existing dots of color. In a moment of self-amusement, I added in a little swing too.

This painting didn’t take long, and I certainly don’t think it’s one of my best works by any means. But I was pleased with my first attempt at this technique, which is why I was so pissed when I realized I’d painted everything on the wrong side of the watercolor paper.


So much practice, still such a n00b.


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