The color in this photo is obviously not accurate but I wanted to show that I've begun the detail work on the trunk and started adding the smaller branches. I had to reapply the masking to the berries with my masking pen. I'm saving them for last. So far my palette has consisted primarily of FUB(red shade), burnt sienna, cobalt blue deep and Payne's grey. I know...it's at the ugly stage.
The background is complete and the masking has been removed. I chose a mixture of Payne's grey and cobalt blue and applied the color by pouring. Cobalt blue is a nice color but it's weak in value so I sprayed on a little Indigo/FUB around the trunk with an atomizer bottle for more contrast. The resulting effect reminded me of stonewashed denim.
The gesso is finally dry and I've applied my masking fluid.
A closeup of the gessoed surface. I chose to try cross-hatching with a 2" brush for the texture element.
I knew when I began painting this it wouldn't be the final. It really should be in a much larger format to look effective but I decided to experiment with different techniques, surfaces and palettes before committing to the final piece so I'm working on my Arches HP block which is only 12" x 16". The comp had to change a little to fit the paper so I sacrificed part of the lower trunk. It's times like these I wish I had a projector. Maybe that'll be next on my wish list.
This particular block of Arches HP doesn't want to release masking fluid well so I coated my paper beforehand with gesso. I also wanted to see how the gesso could add to the piece.