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How To: Oil Painting Trees

How To: Oil Painting Trees

Oil paints are a diverse and interesting medium to work in, particularly for the different ways you can use and manipulate them on canvas. In this guide, artist and tutor Marcia Kay Ellis shows you how to use oils to paint trees.

Top Tips

  • A great way to add depth to your painting is to use a palette knife to lift the paint and create bark-like textures, making the tree stand out from the background.
  • Stippling with a natural sponge and building up layers of different shades of green will create a beautiful and realistic foliage on your tree.
  • Smaller branches can be made to look more 3-dimensional with little details such as highlights and shadows, painted on with a thin brush.
  • Don't worry if you ever make a mistake whilst oil painting. Being oil-based, the paint is easy to lift back off the canvas or move around and takes a long time to dry, so you can even rectify mistakes later in the process.