The days are getting longer! In honor of the solstice, I’ve made this painting.
Here’s how…

You will need:
Basic watercolor paints…
      yellow ochre, terra rosa, pyrrol red, ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson
Black sharpie marker (fine point)
Tracing paper
CretaColor water soluble pencil — black
Light table (or bright window)
Sheet of marbled watercolor paper

What, you don’t have marbled watercolor paper? I can help with that!

I’ll be teaching marbling in 2014
… in a weeklong workshop at MENUCHA
    August 3-9 (workshop has filled)
… or a MARBLING workshop at OSA
    August 21 – 23 (Thurs – Sat)

First, on a sheet of tracing paper placed over the marbled paper, sketch a tree silhouette, outline only. Then draw over the outline with sharpie marker to darken.

Tape the outline on the back side of your marbled paper and put it on a light table (below).

Use the water soluble pencil to draw your tree outline on the marbled paper.

Make a wash of yellow ochre mixed with terra rosa or ultramarine to get the color variation you want and paint the tree. No problem if you go over the line a bit. Note the intensity or opacity of your paint, and add more water to make it more transparent or more pigment to make it more opaque. Let it dry.

Make a circle on a tissue the size you want the sun to be. Put it on the light table and move it through the branches until you find the right place for it. Draw an outline on the marbled paper but only between the branches, not over them.

Paint the sun with pyrrol red, adding yellow ochre if you want to tone it down. Layer more paint along the tree edges to create more dimensionality.

Mix ultramarine (4 parts) to alizarin (2 parts) to yellow ochre (1 part or less?) add water and use this to paint the background. Make sure you mix more than what you’ll need. I like to store this purple/black mix in a bottle that I can squirt on my palette, or sometimes right onto a painting. Add extra water if it doesn’t let enough of the marbled pattern show through.

As you paint the background, cover the CretaColor pencil lines. The pencil will bleed into the paint a bit, but will leave a crisp edge.

And that’s all there is to it!

Winter Solstice Chant
By Annie Finch 
Vines, leaves, roots of darkness, growing,
now you are uncurled and cover our eyes
with the edge of winter sky
leaning over us in icy stars.
Vines, leaves, roots of darkness, growing,
come with your seasons, your fullness, your end.

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