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The graceful, complex structure of the Silver Maple is the center piece of this painting. I painted the tree first so that I would not lose even one twig from my sketch. Of course, this meant that the background had to be painted between the twigs and branches, a very time-consuming and tedious task. But I made the task easier with a trick. I waited until the twigs had dried and then I scraped over them with my knife loaded with the color of the background, thus filling in between the twigs and leaving a brown line where the knife scraped along the twigs. If you look closely you can see where the twigs are almost submerged in photographs #2 and #3.
Then I refreshed the twigs and branches with another application of paint using the side of the knife. And lastly, added the leaves.