We had a day out with some dear English friends over visiting from their home in the US. The plan was to go to Thetford Forest, have a picnic, and do the ‘Go Ape’ treetop adventure. Now, I quite like tree climbing, but have done this recently, so I opted to stay on the ground, look after the bags and try for a sketch.
I could see a border of trees from where we ‘camped’ in the central grassy area. I was drawn by the shapes of the tallest tree and the shortest, and although the composition isn’t necessarily great, I sketched fairly closely what was in front of me. I do confess that I edited out the picnickers who were coming and going constantly…they were just too distracting to include!
I find trees a challenge to paint. There’s something about ‘green’ which really isn’t simple. So many different variations of colour, shade and shape. And that’s without even getting into the browns and greys of bark, and the shadows – what colour are they, even? I do find that creating intense darks is tricky, but I suspect that’s more my technique than due to any inherent characteristic of the pan paints themselves.
Anyway, in this picture I tried to go darker than usual, with some success, aiming for a contrast between the rather bleached grassy area and the dark, cool shades of the forest behind. I think maybe the shadows on the grass under the trees weren’t dark enough, but I’m not going to dive in and change that now.
Anyway, I’m happy to say that I was done and dusted by the time the rest of the party came back from their high-wire tour, so I could concentrate freely on eating and talking!