"Ljustorp" Watercolour painting

During the fall i was looking at light that was putting on a real show. Weird pockets of light in shadows, and trees with dramatic light hitting them durring the sunset. My attention was especially caught by this one birch tree outside my girlfriends family's summer house, which is in the middle of the forest. Every day around the time the sun was going down behind the treetops, somehow this tree was illuminated by a beam of light, while the surrounding forest was in shadow. I even tried to understand exactly where the beam was coming through the forest behind me, but i never found it. So while we stayed at the house i walked out everyday around the same time to look at this tree. The light was so strong that it really seemed like the tree was glowing by itself. It actually cast a reflected light on the ground underneath it that was a little colder so the ground seemed to light up as well. So i tried to take a photo (which was really hard in itself) and then i've been trying to capture a sense of that lighting in this painting. I at least think i managed to capture some of the effect and feeling of the scene.

When it comes to the actual painting process this one was very much balancing the light and the darkness surrounding it. Too dark and the tree would be too strong against the background. Too light and the tree would loose it's power. If the birch tree was too abstract it would not feel stable and would be sort of floaty. I wanted it to have some weight, but on the other hand if it's too defined i would lose the feeling of the light. So i was going back and forth a lot on this one until i came pretty close to what i was going for.

watercolour painting of light on a tree by adam stolterman

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