How do I soften the edges on aspen foliage to make it less distinct?

"Lining Up for Fall" 17x11 Watercolor

“Lining Up for Fall” 17×11 Watercolor

In this demonstration I painted for the Irving Art Association in Irving, Texas, I showed how to soften the foliage behind the tree on the left in order to leave the foliage near the tree on the right, my star, more distinct. In order to do this, I didn’t soften the edges with a damp brush after I applied the paint; instead, I started at the top and tried to paint the sky and the foliage at the same time in order to have them “mingle” a little in the process.

Tip of the Day

This is a little difficult to do, more so in watercolor than in oils, because you have to be a magician and juggle several things at once before your paper dries on you! It takes practice – applying the sky color, then the foliage color while the sky is still wet – and at the same time, not getting any paint on the white aspens where you don’t want it! The paper can’t be TOO wet, or your sky and leaves will totally run together. Practice, practice, practice. It’s so rewarding when you get the effect you want in watercolor.

This watercolor recently won First Place in the Associated Creative Artists Annual Awards Exhibit in Dallas!

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