To learn how to paint trees you need to understand the anatomy of a tree and master different techniques for using brushwork.
This is student painting in which several important techniques are shown:
How to paint trees: Step 1 – Dark masses
When you paint the mass of the foliage, start by painting a large dark mass. Make sure you get the proportions correct and pay particular attention to the top contour. This generally will suggest a specific species if you get this correct.
How to paint trees: step 2 – Skyholes
One of the characteristics of a tree are the holes in it through which you can see the sky. These are called ‘sky holes’. If you use a fan brush you can gently touch the canvas with the sky color to suggest these holes.
How to paint trees: step 3 – Creative brushwork
Get creative with your brushstrokes. Twirl the brush. Use the front and side of the brush. Push the brush in to the canvas with different levels of pressure. Experiment with you own techniques.
Members of the Apprentice Program can see the full video this month of a tree painted using these and many other brushwork techniques.
For a complete description and lesson on painting trees, see painting lesson N02 Tree Masses, in the Apprentice Program Year Four.