Shrink's Views

ramblings of an unknown psychiatrist

Posts Tagged ‘watercolor’

Winter Trees: a painting

Posted by Dheeraj Kattula on April 27, 2013

winter trees

Title: Winter Trees

Size: 18 X 27 cm

Medium: Watercolor on Handmade paper

March 2009

After I painted “The Path”, the feedback I received motivated me to paint again. Of course I was a getting busy as in the hospital where I was working. So, there was a gap of about 9 months between ‘the path’ and this.

I had seen a couple of videos made by a self taught artist Bob Davis. He has a website which can be found by clicking this. You could access these videos and teach yourself too.

The “winter trees” was made using a layered approach. By this I mean I have painted this painting in layers. There is a wash which covers the entire sheet and then after the paint dried I painted over it.

The first was a variegated wash. By this I mean I load a brush with blue paint and run it on the top of the paper and I progressively move down by diluting the lower border of the layer with water till it is just plain water by the time I come to the middle of the painting. This gave the sky a smooth appearance. I added yellow on the lower border and took it to the middle in similar fashion till it is plain water in the middle again. This is pretty important. If not done properly the two colours could mix and give out a green at the horizon!

Once the layer has dried, I painted the distant trees with a random touch of yellows and light brown allowing some amount of mixing to happen on paper. I keep those colours light in value as it adds perspective of depth. Farther objects are lighter and nearer objects are darker in value.

Once these distant trees dried I painted the brown tree. I first painted the tree and the branches. The source of light is from the left side of the painting. So I saw to it that the opposite side is darker due to shadow. I painted the leaves with dry brush techniques running the strokes from periphery to centre of the tree. It is important for us to know the outer limits of a tree when we paint them. It is a common mistake for beginners to start from centre of the tree and keep on going without knowing limits. It is quite tempting indeed to do that.

I painted the grey tree after the brown tree dried. I added green to the foreground. A tint of brown was added to green and was used in areas beyond the road. I added the grasses on both sides of the road. This brought contrast and brought the road ‘out’. I painted the shadows for the trees. This helps to root the trees to the ground. One should not forget the source of light while painting the shadows. I carefully left a patch of non shadow area in between the trees. This added to the sense of depth. The tree shadow falling on the road in the foreground pushes the rest of the stuff ‘behind’, further adding to depth. The tree which is not in the field of painting but casting its shadow adds drama to the painting.

After I framed the painting I felt that adding few birds could have been better. I must add that absence of ‘life’ better depicts winter. So maybe this is just fine 🙂

Hope you learnt a couple of techniques and principles reading this post. Happy painting,


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Fight the Bull : a painting

Posted by Dheeraj Kattula on May 20, 2012

Fight The Bull

Title: Fight the Bull

Medium: Watercolour on Handmade Paper

Size: 27 x 36 cm

Date: 19.5.2012

I was born in the month of May. It makes me a Taurean. The zodiac sign is that of a bull. I am not a believer in Astrology. I believe there are more important factors which determine our future like socio-economic status, quality of parenting received, access to education and healthcare etc. I have been compared to a bull in my childhood. This was for being lazy, stubborn, willing to engage in argument and of course being plump.

I have changed a lot, in fact I had to change a lot. I would love to be lazy but CMC Schedules do not give a chance. I cannot be stubborn as I see my own view as a spot in the dimension of truth/ falsity. I still love argument as the test of clarity of thought.The word argument is a bad word socially as people take things personally, so I intentionally exit after making initial remarks. I still remain on the right of normal curve when it comes to body weight. In other words I have been fighting the bull and I still need to.

I got reminded my self of the concept of fighting the bull and I thought I ll paint a bull fight scene around my birthday. The painting above is the product of that. I loosely applied chrome yellow and lemon yellow on few spots on the wet paper. Then I added yellow ochre, carmine and vermillion to blend along the sides. I then added burnt seinna in corners and did some blending with brush. I then did the same with a bit of burnt umber too. I was adding these colors into the body of the bull with brush strokes following the body contours of the bull. I preserved some whites for the bull’s horn and fighter’s dress.

I worked on the fighter’s dress with a small round brush but kept it loose. I added thick paint of burnt umber and then black on the bull following the earlier brush strokes. I also added a bit of white to add texture. Once the painting dried I splattered the painting on the top corners and the bottom with different colors. Some splatter went and fell on the bull and the fighter. This gave the feel of dust and an atmosphere of action.

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