Another experiment

“November Tamaracks”

I had such a good time with yesterday’s drawing/painting experiment that I wanted to try to apply the same technique (painting first and then drawing over with ink) in a more compositional drawing. Looking out of our front window, that composition was just waiting for me.

The view from our front window

The view is looking southeast towards the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the “stars” of the scene are the changing Tamarack trees (American Larch). These trees are deciduous conifers. They are like pines and firs in that they grow seed cones but they differ by loosing their needles in the fall. Before the needles come down they turn a brilliant yellow orange and provide some of the last warm color before the onset of winter.

Anyone who follows my work knows that I have a penchant for detail and an annoying habit of trying to get everything I see in front of me into the drawing I’m working on. I also tend to make a “project” of drawing or painting and often fail to even get started with it by making too much of it. With this, I was trying to get away from a fussy, over-detailed style. Yesterday’s drawing inspired me to “loosen up”, work quickly and just put in the essentials of the scene.

“November Tamaracks” watercolor with pen and ink in 8″ x 10″ Handbook Watercolor Journal

I started with the brush and directly painted all of the elements of the composition very quickly, trees, hills, foreground and sky. This was done in about 8-10 minutes. When the painting was dry, I used a #3 micron pen to draw over the color (another 5-10 minutes). I added a bit more color (some of the purples to contrast with the yellow of the trees) and some final touches of pen work and that was it. In aiming for simplicity, I was able to use the brush to paint the middle ground and distant mountains almost as calligraphy, as symbols rather than realistically. That was a very freeing experience for me. I hope to do more like this.

Author: Jeff Gold

I'm a retired musician (oboist) now living in Vermont and exploring various avenues of art, urban sketching, life drawing, block printing and digital abstractions.

9 thoughts on “Another experiment”

  1. It’s exciting when an artist pushes into a new direction, especially when it’s looser!

    Sent from my iPhone.



    1. Thanks Suzi. It is exciting for me. You know how tight my work can be! I don’t know if I’ll be able to build on this but for the moment, it feels very liberating. Thanks for commenting.


    1. Thanks Donna. It feels good to try something new and it allows me to just sit down and DO something rather than worry about getting it just so. I’m sure I’ll go back and forth between styles depending on the subject and how I feel about drawing it.


    1. Thanks so much Laureen. Very kind of you to say so. Each of us evolves our own way of capturing what we see and I too find it very enjoyable to view that variety of styles. Thanks for following and leaving a comment. BTW your landscapes are very evocative and painterly. I always enjoy seeing them.


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