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Painting Crows in Elder Trees

This time of year you start to see crows roosting in the trees in the late evening as they begin to get ready for the night. With fewer leaves on the trees they are more visible than at other times of the year. They gather together for security and protection against predators and also to maintain their body warmth as they huddle together.

As we are surrounded by these birds all year round they are a tempting subject for me to paint in autumn. I decided to use a simple design of crows in silhouette and bare tree branches with a touch of elderberries at the end of the painting crows in elder trees.

Materials used for Painting Crows in Elder Trees

I used only a few colors for this painting, which were Potters Pink , Yellow Ochre and Turquoise Blue. I used a size 5 round watercolor brush and a sheet of 140lb watercolor paper.

How I painted this painting

I started by sketching the outline of the trees and the birds in pencil. You can download the sketch for free from this site if you just go to the Free YouTube Sketches tab on the menu. Once you’ve signed in you can download as many as you like of my sketches for free.

Then I painted the background in a light mixture of Potters Pink and Turquoise which gives a neutral gray. Then I used all three colours at random to paint the tree trunks. The branches I drew with a Staedtler Karat Aquarell watercolor pencil. This is a great pencil which gives a very dramatic line over wet paper and paint, and is ideal for spindly branches.

Finally I took a few drops of Winsor Violet to drop in a few of the last elderberries of the season to finish off the painting.

YouTube video of Crows in Elder Trees

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