Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spilling over (as in an abundance)

Carol Sloan here.
Last month just breezed by me.
I'll begin this month by posting one of my pages on the new theme "Spilling Over".
Here in upstate South Carolina March brought warming temperatures, beautiful sunsets
and the return of baseball season.

Why, what an odd thing to talk about on an art blog...
baseball season?!

Not for me, not really.

My sweetie is a college baseball umpire and I go to a LOT of baseball games (another abundance!).

Since baseball does tend to move (a little) slow, I have to find other things to do while sitting there.

So, I draw.
Or I paint.
I sometimes stitch.
Sometimes I knit or crochet.

This particualr day I painted and drew.

The campus I was at had an abundance of pine trees.

It was spilling over with pine trees actually.
Not to mention pine cones...

I decided to do some (kinda) realistic sketching this day.
I had my handy dandy sketching kit with me,
a brand new watercolor pad (140 lb hot pressed this time)
and a lightweight folding chair.

I picked a shady spot and set up my sketching area.

Oh, don't forgot sun screen and a hat (or an umbrella).

I looked around for something that had a pleasing shape.
I draw a lot of trees (they spill out from me) so it seemed natural that I would pick one to draw.

I actually wanted to paint this one first, then add a few details...
this is a fairly close rendition to what I drew the first time (I'm doing this tutorial after the original was completed).
We're not going for a balanced composition here - I'm just painting showing you how I paint/draw a tree.

Anyone could paint this, right?!

Now, add a few smears of green paint at the ends of the tree limbs...
Don't think about it, just do it.

Now comes the fun part!

If you read my blog, you'll remember the tutorial that I did on drawing a great journal page when you are having one of those "I can't draw days".
This technique is done almost exactly the same way.

Check out this post to see what I'm talking about and then hop back over here.

Okay- ready to put some marks on the page?

Honestly, this is all I did to begin detailing the tree.

See?  It really is a quick, uneven outline of what I had painted.
Now, I went back in adding the "zippers" (my friend Denise named them) at random sections of my outline.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I use a smaller nib size on this part of the detailing.
I used a size "S"  for the first outline and a size "XS" for the outer line and for the pine needles.

Here is a completed section.
Notice that I added the pinecones in on the limb - I didn't paint anything extra, I just drew the shapes in.
I could go back later and add a little highlight to them.
Click on the image to see a close up of it.

You can really see the difference in the way that the tree looks after adding the detail lines, can't you?
I want you to try this.
Then post your results on the flicker site so we can all see them!
Here is the completed tree that I did that day at the ballgame.

Actually, I want to go back and bump up the color a little bit
and add more detail on the pinecones /limbs on the ground.

Or maybe take a cue from Kelli Perkins and add some stitching with black thread..

yum, that sounds good.

Now, where did I put my black thread at...


  1. WOW! You make it look so easy. I may have to try it. I'm sure mine won't come out as nice as yours though.

  2. Stephanie - it really is as easy as it looks! I do hope that you will try it and show us your results on the flickr site.

  3. Yummy drawing on your painting, Carol. I love your zippers so much I am adding them to many of my paintings and drawings with a few spirals, stars and dots. The progression of the tree is an excelllent tutorial for me! Thanks!

  4. Gosh, I thought it was just me . . . I love baseball - not only for it's generally courteous, stately paced self, but also because it is so helpful for encouraging productivity. I'm not squandering my life watching baseball on TV, I'm using the time to get done all the tedious parts of whatever I'm working on. (beading -- did someone mention beading?)

  5. Thank you very much for your hints and sharing - I will be trying this and posting on Flickr.

  6. What an excellent exercise! I freeze up at a journal page, maybe this will help!

  7. Carol, as you know, I love your zippers. I posted my apple tree to the Flickr site. Hope others will try this. It's fun stuff!

  8. such a great tree and so easy. I finally, after watching this site for some months, have decided to join the sketchbook challenge, and created one (yes created:P) tonight for the purpose of drawing for fun again.

  9. Yay for Sarah! Do post it so we can see it!
    dh - did you see the shout out that I gave you? I LOVE your apple tree! Great job!
    Glad that you all are trying it - just TRY before you assume that you can't do it!

  10. Carol, I did it!


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