And for some really interesting bugs and other critters, check out Naquaiya's art blog:
In class Tuesday, Sandy had us do more trees but all I got done was trying to do the technique she showed us for pines with snow. First, using Phthalo Blue (a staining colors works best for this technique), put down a block of color. When the shine is just off but it hasn't dried, take a piece of a card (credit card, id card, library card, whatever) and scrape the color off back to white (almost white) by pushing and squeegee-ing the color off in triangular shapes. Then, paint the greens of the tree around it, remembering that snow is rounded on top. Then you have a winter pine with snow covered branches - if you do it right. I tried several times and these are the best I could do.
This last one is Sandy's - she let me bring it home to study and try again - she felt sorry for me because I was ill and had to leave class early - plus she thought I was getting close and was almost there (such an optimist!). You see how you have to think triangular in the places you scrape out the "snow" and in the shapes of the scrapes, too. I have a hard time with the right side of the tree because I scrape better on the left side. Also I didn't leave any air holes for the branches to show like Sandy did - which makes this much more interesting. But this technique means you never touch the "snow" again - the card makes the shape and the shadows are made when the staining color is pushed down to the bottom and sides of the scraped area.
Pretty cool, eh?