Birch Trees in Autumn Original Watercolor Painting Demonstration on Yupo Paper

It's mid August and the crickets are chirping loudly outside my window. Though daytime temps are warm, the nights are cool and I've noticed some maple trees with a few orange leaves. Fall is on the way.

With that in mind, I decide to try a painting of autumnal birch trees in watercolor on Yupo paper. Yupo allows for vivid color since the paint does not soak in. Autumn color is vivid, right? So it seems a good match.

Let's see how this 14x11 inch painting turns out:

First, I blob red and yellow (to make orange), and blue and yellow (to make various shades of green) onto the paper letting the colors mix together at random. I leave part of the paper white for the sky.
Note that I lay the paper horizontally flat on the easel and not on an angle. Even so, the paints run every which way...

But I like the effect.

Now to let it dry completely. This takes time because the colors are puddled on top of the paper:

When completely dry, I take a wet flat brush and pull it down from top to bottom removing the paint as I go. This will indicate the white birches:

I decide to make three trees adding shading with blue while still damp:

After this dries, I add details to the trees and the background foliage. A light touch is needed to keep from removing the paint underneath:

It's a good idea to step back from a painting from time to time to see what is needed (and there usually is something needed!). When I do this, I notice the painting looks flat. A few more birches in the background will add depth...

(How easy to add more trees by simply wiping off paint! Yupo is fabulous that way.)

I repeat the process of shading, allowing to dry and adding details on the new trees. Once I've made all adjustments to the painting, it is completed and here it is:

'Birches in Autumn' 14x11 Watercolor Painting - Sold

I like the fresh, impressionistic look. You can see the difference in effect by checking some of my birch paintings on watercolor paper here.

Next time I use Yupo, I have more ideas to try. Hope you'll check back to see!

I'm happy to take custom orders. Contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grandkids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
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