For this painting the idea was to capture silver birch leaves with the sun shining on them. The photo on the left was the inspiration. Masking fluid was used to keep the leaves and branches free from paint, then I liberally wetted the paper all over with a hake brush and freely added watercolours onto the paper letting them blend as they liked. I also added salt to the wet paint in places which has caused the lovely mottled colour of the leaves. This layer of paint was treated as the mid tone and the negative painting technique was used to paint in leaf and grass shapes into the background, I quite literally made it up as I went along! I felt that the foreground on the bottom left needed something more defined so painted in some dill flowers, using a photo as my guide. Once I was sure the background was as I wanted it, the masking fluid was removed and the silver birch leaves were painted in using an intial wash of aureolin. When this was dry, lemon yellow and a touch of prussion blue were mixed on the pallet and used for the zingy lime greens, following up with phthalo turquoise for the darker shades.
I had no intention of creating a realistic painting, or even using the correct colours, silver birch trees don't have turquoise branches, but in my painting they do! I wanted to create something bright and colourful based on silver birches in the sunshine, rather than an exact replica - another attempt to be creative!