How To Paint A Tree
How To Paint A Tree
In this video, Paul Regan from the Insight School of Art in London teaches you to use oil paints to paint a simple, autumnal tree. Follow this simple step-by-step instructional video and learn how to properly use shading and highlighting techniques as well as the proper brushes to use to create your very own oil painting of a tree.
Hello, my name is Paul Regan. I am from the Insight School of Art in London, and I'm going to show you how to paint a tree. I'm going to start off by drawing in the tree trunk and the branches.
Just using some raw amber for now. Obviously, all trees are different, all tree shapes are different and they grow in different ways. This is just an idea to get your started.
I'm following a photograph, and I'm making sure that the branches get smaller as they further away. And as I run out of paint, I come back to the same area in the tree trunk, and get smaller as I get further away. It's best to work and have a look at a tree and paint from that tree, but if you can't do that or if you haven't got that available, a decent photograph of a tree, that's going to show you how it grows.
Now, once I've got (this is using a number four brush), once I've got the main branches in, I might want to get thinner and start using something like a rigger brush, which has a very long point to it which holds a lot of paint, but makes a very thin mark. So, I can actually add smaller branches, I just hold it right towards the end and just wiggle it as I'm following the shape of the branches. Make sure when you're using oil paints, there's plenty of liquid so that the paint spreads well and gets nice and thin at the top.
What you don't want to do is get wider as they get further up. It'll feel like the branches should break off. And if you're just doing a tree without any foliage on, you'll probably keep going and put in lots more branches, but I'm going to put some foliage on this tree, so I'm going to stop there with the branches.
I'm going to take a slightly larger brush; I'm going to take a number eight Filbert brush. I'm going to mix a fairly autumnal green, use some lemon yellow, ultra green, which is a very bright color. And to make it even more autumnal, we can take a tiny bit of crimson just to take the strength out of the color.
So, I'm going to start blocking in the area with dabs, fairly impressionistic dabs, of the space that the foliage takes up. I'm going for a fairly dark color, then I'm going to put the lighter colors where the light hits on top. That way if you run out of color, like I've just done, you can mix some more; it doesn't matter if it's slightly different.
Not all greens on the tree are going to be exactly the same. It's quite nice to have a slight bit of variation. If I was working on a blue background or a sky colored background, then that would be coming through these little white gaps, and that's quite good.
You don't want to block out the sky totally. It'll make it look a little bit too much like a lollipop. Let the sky come through.
Now, if I want to put some lighter and darker tones on, I would just add a little bit of black to yellow; slightly thicker so I can put the paint on top of the thick paint, and just think about the areas of shadow underneath the tree, under the canopies of each block of foliage. If I want to go lighter, I'm going to clean my brush, give it a good dry, take a fairly bright green, using the same colors, so mixing it with the bright green, I'm going to use the same ultra green lemon yellow. If I start using different greens and different yellows, then it won't look like it belongs to the same tree, and the right season, and the right lighting and the right time of the day, so really limit the colors you're using.
And that can just sort of highlight where the light might be hitting. So that's just it, a quick example of how you might like to have a go at trying to paint a tree using oil paints. .