By Alina Bradford
Trees come in all shapes and sizes, but a landscape artist
can learn how to paint trees in five easy steps. These simple steps can be
adjusted to work with different tree types, like deciduous and evergreen trees,
and with different seasons.
To follow each step, please see the illustrations at the
bottom of the article.
Step One for Painting
Trees: Draw the Trunk and Branches
All trees need a sturdy foundation, that's why the trunk and
branches are drawn first. The artist should avoid drawing with a pencil and
instead use a liner brush or a pointed round brush for loose, realistic
Here are the steps for drawing a tree with a brush:
- Load the brush with the trunk color.
- Lightly touch the brush tip to the canvas and increase the
pressure while pulling the brush downward. This will be the trunk.
- With a narrower brush, use the same type of stroke used to
create the trunk to create the branches. Make sure that the widest part of the
stroke is against the trunk. For more realism, the artist can let the hand
waver back and forth so that the branch isn't perfectly straight.
Step Two to Painting
Trees: Add Shadows to the Trunk and Branches
While the paint is still wet, load a smaller brush with the
shadow color and repeat the trunk brush stroke on the side of the trunk that
has the least light. Blend the edges with a small dry brush for a natural look.
Step Three to Tree
Painting: Paint the Dark Leaves
Adding leaves to the tree is the obvious next step, but they
shouldn't all be painted the same color. Start the leaf painting process by
painting the dark areas first.
Here is how to paint leaves:
- Dab an old, raggedy brush in the darkest shade of green.
- Lightly dab the brush on a rag.
- Dab the brush onto the branches in a quick motion. Make sure
to leave holes for the sky to show through since no tree is one huge mass of leaves.
Step Four to Tree
Painting: Paint the Lighter Leaves
With the same painting process described in step two, paint
the lighter colored leaves overlapping the upper edges of the darker leaves.
sure to do this process while the paint is still wet on the darker leaves.
This will blend the two colors slightly, giving the tree more depth.
Using this technique, the artist can begin to paint
realistic trees in landscape painting. With practice, this technique can be
adjusted to fit a variety of needs.
Here is another way to paint trees: