I took me quite a while to figure out that it was BLACK sumi-e ink (Nicked from Paul's art supplies, shhhh!) diluted with water in a misting spray bottle that was needed on the bark. I was trying red and brown transparent water color and photo retouch concentrates at first, but it wasn't until I hit the surface with that strong, jet black ink that it "popped" into looking real. I hadn't realized how dark the fissures are in real trees before.
Then I went over the whole tree again with straight pale taupe acrylic on a dry house paint brush, coloring just high peaks of texture.
The now strong contrast between a darkened basecoat and new highlights bothered me. It had lost most of the original brown base and taupe midtone. I re-worked that a bit, knocking down the highlight patches with more black spray and increasing the highlight tone to an even more pale yellow. It's coming along. Almost there.
I go at it again in daylight on Monday and plan to find the faux-mojo in me to finish it. Some parts of branches look so much like real wood (not pictured), that I have to stop and think whether I'd forgotten to cover the real branches with cement. Weird.
Then... It's Leaf Central, Inc. around here! I thought I'd start by using the littlest leaves first on the outer most tips and then place the next smallest and see how that amount of foliage looks.
ART BONUS: New Buttons Are Ready to Ship Out!
Yesterday's couch project was to package up the NEWLY RELEASED Halfland's Second Highly Collectible Limited Edition Memorabilia Buttons! The illustration on them really captures the "Halfland's-Pink-Snail-traveling-home-at-dusk" cozy feel.
They go out Wednesday as gifts to patrons of this project, friends, supporters, and readers of this blog. That means YOU!, if you've emailed me your address privately, If you haven't yet, there's one waiting for you (just email: nobledesign[at]sbcglobal[dot]net and just put "button" in the title.) I'd love everyone who wants one to have one!
It's a small way of thanking you for visiting this place. You are a treemendous inspiration in my progress, as you can see.