June Larch

This is not supposed to be a plant or flower blog, but there is just so much inspiration in the garden at the moment, I can’t resist!

Today’s endeavour was a larch branch. The tree in our garden has flowered and is producing the most beautiful purply-red new cones, which are sprinkled amongst last year’s mature ones. The fronds dangle down in a curtain of shape and colour. This was something of a ‘last chance’ to paint, as it won’t be long before these red cones dry out and become brown for autumn.

Larch watercolourI was aiming for a Japanese woodblock print vibe with this picture, hence the open space at the top right, and busy left hand corner. I don’t think that I achieved this, partly because I didn’t manage to get the simplicity of definition and contrast which a print would have had, and because choosing to leave the background white has had an impact. However, that said, I’m nevertheless quite pleased with the way it’s turned out, as I was initially rather intimidated by the amount of detail I could see when I sat down beside the tree to paint.

Today I did begin with a pencil sketch, editing out some of the mass of branches to help with composition. I added the branch colours first, then worked on the greens and brown cones. The bright pinks came last (I was very worried about those). Having looked at the painting for a little while, I decided it needed more definition than I’d achieved wtih the paint, so I put in more structural detail with my fineliner. I’m glad I did, as it sharpened everything up considerably.

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