HawthornPosted: June 5, 2016
I went to the Jardin Botanique in Montreal with the intention of painting flowers, but on my way through the Leslie Hancock Garden, I noticed this Crataegus crus-galli — a cockspur hawthorn. With its spreading horizontal branches, it was quite dramatic set against the azalea beds some distance away.
I always spend a little time thinking the painting process through before I start, instead of diving right in. I try to figure out what washes will go on first, how dark will they be and what colour harmonies I will choose. The big question with a central tree like this is whether to paint around it, or to paint the sky and background right through it and then paint the tree on top of those washes. The solution was quite clear in this case. Because the tree is so dark, I first painted sky, distant foliage and then foreground, and when that was bone dry I painted the tree. A classic light to dark and far to near painting order. To note: it was worth the bites to have a view of this beautiful specimen, but if you go to this area of the gardens, remember to pack your bug spray.