Fallen Birch

I often get asked how I decide when to use ink and wash instead of pencil and wash. My standard answer is that I use an ink line when the subject seems to be line-based (like in Fox Trot) and watercolour on top of pencil when the subject is shape-based (like Draw). City scenes often have lots of ink drawing in them because there are power lines, bricks, utility poles and cracks in the pavement. Water scenes are usually just pencil with wash on top because I want to use the fluidity of the paint to create reflections and waves. Occasionally a scene requires both treatments, like the edge of the lake I painted a few weeks ago. The birch, the rocks and the underbrush were defined with pen, but I built up the water with layers of paint. In this case I don’t think ink would have worked at all.

Along similar lines (no pun intended) I noticed that my friend Liz Steel is offering a new online course called “Edges“. It promises to be as excellent as her first course “Foundations” and it’s all about the interaction between shape and line.


4 Comments on “Fallen Birch”

  1. This is a lovely “sketch”


  2. Linda says:

    Good grief, Shari!! You are a mind reader! This is the exact question I wanted to ask you. I understand what you are saying and maybe it will register with practice. Either way, this is a wonderful painting. Your talent is quite inspiring.


  3. dezabaleta says:

    Fantastic watercolor….



  4. holmar58 says:

    A wonderful painting… I can imagine how tranquil it would be to sit in that spot.


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