This big treePosted: January 8, 2020
This big tree is what I see when I look out from a small window in my front entrance. Like my wheelbarrow, which I can see from another window, it always looks best with a little snow on it. And with a fresh coat of snow on the ground this morning, I decided it might be a challenge to try to paint it using gouache instead of watercolour.
Today’s challenge was about combining the familiar with the unfamiliar. I’ve painted this view countless times, but never in gouache. My big dilemma was how to deal with the snow. Should I leave the white of the paper like I do in watercolour, or use white paint? My solution in the end combined a bit of both of these techniques. For the large snow area in the foreground, I left the white of the paper, just like I do in watercolour. But for the flecks of snow on the tree and the accumulation of white stuff on the neighbour’s car and stairs, I used white pigment. And since this scene is fairly colourless (at least compared to what I was painting around Sanibel Island) I used a limited gouache palette of white, black, ochre, burnt sienna and cobalt blue.