Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Winter Trees with Watercolor Background

This is my progress through an 8"x10" piece similar to the winter tree ATCs you've seen me do.

Answers to some of the questions I received from you:

  • PAPER: this was done on Arches watercolor paper - rough - 140lb
  • PEN: I used a Koh-i-noor Rapidograph .30 size pen for the pen & ink work
  • TIME: it took me 9 hours to create this piece

My notes: I should have used a smoother paper since the rough watercolor paper was a bit too rough for the pen and ink work. As for the size of the pen, I could have used a larger size for the thicker branches of the trees (or even a brush)... just didn't feel like it - go figure! As for time, this was the first time I actually jotted down how long it took me to create a piece... it was quite an eye opener as I tend to lose track of time when I'm creating; I didn't think it would take this long!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me.

This is the watercolor background that I painted. I wanted a lot of different colors, but wanted them pretty light as I will do a lot of pen and ink work over the watercolors and don't want the overall effect to be too dark. We'll see how it goes :)

I've added the frame of the picture (8"x10") and started drawing in the trees.

I've started going over the trees with pen and ink. The pencil marks are obviously just a guide for me since my trees seem to take a life of their own and most of the pencil branches are soon forgotten.

Most of the second tree is now done.

All three trees are now finished.

I have started cross-hatching with the outside circle and will work towards the inner circle so it is easier to see the pencil lines. This darker circle has four layers: horizontal, vertical, and diagonal - both ways.

This next circle is lighter as it only has 3 layers: vertical, and diagonal - both ways.

The next circle has only two layers - diagonal from left to right, and right to left.

And this is the finished piece!! The last circle only has one layer - diagonal from left to right.


Mary S Hunt said...


takes a lot longer than one would think to achieve this...just incase anyone thinks this is fast

girl work studios said...

It's great to see the work in progress. Those trees are beautifully striking.

thealteredpage said...

Wow! Those trees are spectacular.

Liz Plummer said...

This is beautiful, Marta. Thank you for showing how you did it. I love trees.

dianeclancy said...

Hi Marta,

This is lovely!! Great idea!

~ Diane Clancy

Mystic Silks http:mysticsilks.etsy.com said...

Beautiful, Marta. Just wonderful soft colors.

PaperBouquet said...

Marta, this is absolutely beautiful! I love the colours you used. : )


Artist Power said...

This is wonderful! I really enjoy seeing how the work progresses

dianeclancy said...

Hi Marta,

This is lovely!! And how wonderful to see the process ... it makes the image that much more intriguing to me!!

~ Diane Clancy

Mary-Lou said...

As always.... your work is beautiful.... Like you, I am partial to "nekkid" trees.... You never cease to amaze me with your talent.
Mary Lou


Kirstin said...

Gorgeous piece, Marta! I appreciate it even more with the description of all the steps involved. Thanks for taking the time to document the process.

Mary S Hunt said...

the final debut is stunning!
wonderful work...

Gayle Page-Robak said...

This is absolutely stunning, Marta...what a beautiful piece of art!! Thank you for sharing it.

Faye said...

Marta, that is so gorgeous. Any of the pictures after you completed the trees would have made a beautiful framed painting. I love drawings of bare trees. So majestic.

Jean Levert Hood said...

Marta, this is awesome!! The progressing makes it more so. Thank you for sharing.

kathleen ney said...


Thank you for showing the piece as it was being done, it gives a greater appreciation of final artwork. Do you have any of the original "idea" sketches? I think it's great to see those as well even if it just looks like scribbles.

Lily Pang said...

That's so beautiful! It is nice to know how to paint the difficult circle with differently. Thank you!

Melanie said...

Amazing!!! Thank you for sharing the process!!!!

Wanda H said...

Marta, this is amazing!!! Any idea how many hours it took you??

Marta said...

Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments you've left; I appreciated each one of them!
To answer a question a couple of people asked: it took me 9 hours to complete this piece over the course of 1 week.

Ivan Chan Studio said...

A glorious labor of love! It's intricately beautiful, abstract and surreal, at the same time it's representational, too.


Ann Christine Dennison said...

Wow this is superb, I am impressed!
Thanks for sharing :-)