Bonsai: #3

This one turned out more of an illustration than a painting – maybe somewhere in between?

I wanted to try the Bonsai painting in a landscape orientation, and I think it worked ok. I don’t like the trees in the midground, I wanted them to be more washed out than they are, but I ended up dumping too much pigment in them.

I like the mountain in the distance, and the way that path appeared (totally by accident) in the midground. The tree? Hmmmm… meh? Eeee…. maybeeee I like it a little? There’s something there worth exploring, but the shapes are far too dense. I should try to emphasize the trunk and branches more. 

I also should have left a tiny white highlight on the back of the tree trunk to pull it away from the deep purple shadows. 

I wanted to play around with splashing a bit, and blooms, but I didn’t really get any splashing to work because I was afraid of it.

The blooming almost achieved what I was after, but I didn’t add the water when the paper was at the right dampness. I want to work on that.

I also wanted to really reduce the palette in order to put color aside and focus on technique. I am consistently surprised by the hues that are possible, even with just two pigments (Quin Gold, and Quin Violet.) I want to experiment more with a limited palette – it really helps me to avoid getting lost in dabbing a little color here, a bit more there, until it’s all just mud. 

The composition is not great. It feels really trite to me, and I should work on that more. Maybe if I didn’t paint a hairy orange slug in the midground… oh well.

Anyway, I’m falling asleep as I type – good night!

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