Plein-air painting of tree in Paarl:
This plein-air watercolour painting of an umbrella stone tree was done at Paarl Rock reserve, outside the town of Paarl, in the Cape, South Africa. Check google map below. Umbrella trees are sometimes called stone trees or Italian stone trees. Its botanical name is pinus pinea.
Our eldest daughter and her husband took us to see the and the beauty of the reserve. And while we looked round the reserve, I took photos.
Paarl Rock is a huge bulbous granite rock,
an igneous outcrop of rock that towers high up above the reserve in all its glory.
While the men and our eldest daughter were away hiking up Paarl Rock, our youngest daughter and I sat down at some benches to do some plein-air painting. The panoramic view before us was so stunning laid out before us! She had never done any plein-air painting before, so it was a great new learning curve for her. I only had a small location paint box and a few brushes with me. I laid out my painting gear on one of the tables and shared it with her.
I included an umbrella tree in my watercolour:
Well I had to, didn’t I!? Couldn’t give up the chance to paint one when it was standing right there at the edge of the parking area. I’ve only seen the stone pines in Cape Town and in New Zealand. In New Zealand they look more haggard. Maybe the wind factor is much stronger there along the west coast.
I love these trees because of their strong characteristics. My watercolour painting doesn’t show their odd twisted branches. Perhaps because this tree is farther inland, away from the strong winds the Cape Town Table Mountain umbrella trees have to contend with.
I long to paint these trees in oils!
Can you imagine a scene with their dark dramatic shapes against a stormy mountain scene! Wow. My senses just sizzle when I see misty or atmospheric weather conditions. Do you also get that feeling of excitement when you see something great that attracts and appeals to you, and you feel you just must paint it?! Please leave your comment below in the comment block at the bottom of the page.