I struggle painting woodland.  I have many failed attempts.  I want to capture the vibrancy of line and tone without obsessional attention to detail.  What I mean is that my attention span is too short for detail.

For this afternoon’s sketch I took as reference a photograph taken at Ham’s Hall nature reserve in the West Midlands.  I also was inspired (strangely and now unrecognisably) by someone else’s painting in which I was impressed by how many shades made up her grey.


I envisaged my own picture as made up of many shades of grey although this is not how it turned out, as you can see.  I may try this again.

I try to get a sense of movement and flow in my paintings, rather than that they are truly representative.  Tidying up today (so I would have room to paint at all) I came across this old sketch.  I seem to remember having in mind an image of rolling waves in shaping the undergrowth.

Comments, especially advice on building woodlands in watercolour, are most welcome.

As an aside, while I fiddled with the settings, my camera took this landscape in negative.  I liked the effect.