Tree Studies

I don’t usually start doing tree studies until autumn, but in teaching one of my students how to paint a landscape, we stepped away from the whole scene to practice single trees. I’d forgotten how much I like doing these!

First, I used the lightest color to paint the whole mass of leaves, making the edges said “leaf shapes” and leaving some holes for the birds.

When that layer was dry, I added the shadow shapes using a darker value. Softening some of the edges of the shadow shapes helps blend them in with the shapes in the light. When that layer was dry, I painted in the trunk and branches, weaving the branches behind the lightest leaves.

These studies are small, about the right size for making into greeting cards.

3 thoughts on “Tree Studies

    • This way of painting a tree seems backwards. Most people want to paint the trunk and branches and then hang the leaves on them. And I have seen watercolorists paint them that way, but it’s trickier since watercolor is transparent.

I'm interested in hearing what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s