Here in South Florida we have very unique trees that grow along the rivers and beaches.  This particular one is called Mangrove.  I love all the knots and tangleness of the roots.  They are mostly found in the Everglades.  They release a pod-like seed that floats along in the water until it finds some sand to begin to send out roots and grow.  I painted this picture, using a photograph I took along a fork of the New River in Fort Lauderdale.  The paper I used was Arches 22″x30″ cold press paper.  Here is a brief step by step tutorial of how I painted it.

The photo I used as my reference

 First, I sketched out my lines and then painted white mask on the areas that I wanted to remain white and on the mangrove roots.

Sketched Picture and painted with Mask

The picture was a little too plain, so I wanted to include a water bird we see around here all the time.  As reference, I looked up a picture on the internet for a white crane. They are so pretty and graceful.  I like the peacefulness of the bird in contrast to the tangleness of the roots behind him.

Sky - Morning glow

 I painted in the sky and reflection in the water with wet on wet, using windsor yellow and orange and reds.  Then I let it dry.


 Then I painted in the greens of the trees and in the water.

Rubbed off the mask

After putting most of my background, I let it dry completely and then rubbed off the mask. This is where I really spent a lot of time sharpening and painting in the details.  Here is the finished product.

Mangrove Morning