Painting Winter: Background Progress

Here’s today’s winter birch forest painting status!
This morning I glued a first layer of birch trees onto the background, along with a few leaves and yellow grass. The trees were too pale, so I had to add an extra layer of dark gray. Now I will work on adding some texture to the snow on the floor before gluing the foreground trees.

What is keeping you busy today ?


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Painting Winter

Snowy trees || by marion

The snow came early this year.

Watercolor palette || by marion

I decided it was a good time to get started on the winter version of my birch forest series.

Snowy landscape || by marion

It was the kind of snow that stays on the trees. I just love it, when this happens.

Watercolor birches || by marion

The birches are ready to be cut.

Snowy winter landscape || by marion

It was winter wonderland last week. Now everything is melting again.

Watercolor painting in progress || bymarion

Funny coincidence: this afternoon, I ran out of white paint.


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Birch Forest Spring

Birch Forest Spring || Watercolor and cut paper collage || by marion

One of the things I love most about living in Scandinavia is the strong contrast between seasons. But even from week to week, nature keeps changing drastically. When I started thinking about making a spring version of my birch forest, the things that came to my mind were these little flowers and tender green birch leaves. In reality, they come several weeks apart (and perhaps not exactly in the same spots); but what’s the point of making art if you can’t play with the rules of nature?

spring flowers

As for the fall version, I painted the foreground birches, birds, flowers and leaves on a separate piece of paper before cutting them and gluing them onto the background.

Cut paper pieces || spring flowers || by marion

Cotton paper is wonderful to paint on. I enjoyed playing with successive layers of paint and letting the transparency of watercolors do its magic.

The making of the birch forest ||cut paper and watercolor || by marion

This time I tried adding some extra leaves on the forest floor. I’m not sure it adds any interest though. I also prefer the way the shadows of the trees look on the fall version.

I think I’ll make the summer version next. Winter will require a bit more research: there’s a lot of white to think about!

But this week I’m taking a little break from birds and trees to work on some greeting cards designs. What about you? I hope you have a great week!


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Another Birch Forest

Birch Forest Spring || Watercolor and cut paper collage in progress || by marion

Autumn is in the air already. Berry picking and wall painting are on hold. Back to my watercolors and glue I’m making the most of rainy days: the spring version of my birch forest is almost done! I have glued all the trees and flowers, and now I’m working on some bird sketches.

How is your week coming along ?


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Birch Forest Song: the final painting

Birch Forest Song || Watercolor and cut paper collage || by marion

And here is the final piece!

When I showed the preliminary drawing to the friend who commissioned the piece, she said that she liked the new composition, but that she would prefer it without the leaves on the forest floor. Instead, she suggested using little touches of color to represent the carpet of leaves.

I was happy to do so. I also decided to add some yellow foliage in the background, since the top part looked too empty.

I painted the black and white birches, the leaves and the bird on separate pieces of paper before cutting them and gluing them onto the background.

And finally, I painted some drop shadows which were a great improvement since they really added some depth.

I’m quite happy with the result. But most importantly, this was a super interesting and fun project to work on. My friend was great at giving me constructive feedback along the process (and very patient, too!). It really helped me to improve the piece and learn tons of new skills.

 


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Birch Forest Song : A Drawing In Progress

Birch Forest Song || Drawing process 04 || by marion

This week, I finally finished the Birch Forest Song painting/collage I was working on for a friend. Yay!

While it makes its way to her mailbox, here is a pencil drawing version I made to test a different composition after this attempt.

And here are some (bad) photos I took during the process:
Birch Forest Song || Drawing process 01 || by marion

Birch Forest Song || Drawing process 02 || by marion

Birch Forest Song || Drawing process 03 || by marion


 


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Birch Forest Song : A Painting In Progress

Birch forest song // watercolor and cut paper collage // by marion

While everything is green and blooming around me, I am working on some autumn leaves. A friend asked me if I could paint something for her, and of course I was thrilled. Thanks, friend! Her wishes were : yellow and orange.

We made a shared pinterest board to gather inspiration and after a little brainstorming, ended up with the idea of an autumn leaves pattern, a little robin, yellow, orange, brown and gray tones.

It seems that my brain transformed “autumn leaves pattern” into “birch forest”. Don’t ask me why. (It might have something to do with Sweden).

birch forest, västerbotten, sweden
So, this is the first study I made. As usual I used a combination of watercolor and cut paper collage.

rougegorge_relief02_small

The composition is too flat, and the background doesn’t have enough texture.

But since then I’ve made progress, so stay tuned!


 


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Fir Trees And Birch Trees

climbing

wood

birch trees and fir trees

fallen birch tree

These days I’m spending long hours painting and cutting paper. I’m taking a lot of notes, learning new techniques, listening to podcasts. I’m feeling so inspired, but oh, so stiff from too much sitting! So, everyday, I’m taking long walks in the forest. Birch trees, fir trees, blue skies and sunlight. The sound of silence and the sound of the wind.

walking in the forest

undergrowth


more glimpses of life


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Winter can come

birch firewood

{this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
{Inspired by SouleMama}