Spring Greens

I DREW this with my 08 nib Pilot Drawing Pen and made a start adding the colour as I waited in the queue for advice from a government helpline. After all the waiting, it turned out it was a problem of my own making but at least the hands free phone gave me an interval to sketch. I keep thinking that all the work that I put into mundane tasks like accounts and tax returns will eventually give me some freedom but at this rate by the time I get all the loose ends tied up it will be time to start all over again.

In this view of the woods there’s a Sycamore in full leaf on the far right with an oak just coming into leaf behind it. There’s dark green ivy on the boughs of the big Ash tree on the left, the branches of which are dotted with the Ash flowers, now going to seed, and its fresh green leaves. At the bottom left by the little store house there’s a Blackthorn bush, which was in blossom a few weeks ago.

In my efforts to catch the subtlety of the greens which are actually made up of a stipple of different colours I’ve ended up with an autumnal cast to my watercolour. When I compare the finished result with the actual view from my studio window the real foliage is a fresh light green. I’ve added too much ochre and the odd touch of crimson. There might be traces of both those colours in the barely perceptible flowers, twigs and buds but the foliage is the predominant colour.

You’d have to go for a pointillist technique of lots of tiny dots of pure colour to reproduce the experience of all the colour that you can see but in washes of watercolour you’ve got to average it out and any attempt to introduce those flecks of red and brown will simply dull down the dominant pure greens of the spring foliage.

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